Environmental and Outdoor Education

The Alberta Hunter Education Instructors' Association provides free, downloadable and printable workbooks and videos for all ages on a variety of topics, including:

  • Junior Wildlife 
  • Know Your Knots 
  • Survival Kit Essentials 
  • Tick Awareness 
  • Map and Compass Basics 

The Alberta WaterPortal Society has two online learning tools and a teacher guide with learning outcomes and connections to the Alberta curriculum to support educators in using these activities. All of the online resources from the Alberta Water Nexus project focus on how there are complex interconnections between our water resources, agriculture and food, and energy production. By thinking about the connections, we can innovate and improve as a community. 

  • Follow the Drop: A choose-your-own-adventure game where users travel as a drop of water through the Bow River watershed. We explore the many different water users and how water quality changes as it goes down the river.
  • Video Series: Through six animated videos of 2 minutes each, the viewer gets to explore concepts like how all water users in a watershed are connected, how population growth will increase the demands for food and energy, how farmers protect water quality through practices, and how a healthy environment supports all activities in the water. The videos provide excellent visuals to help students understand the concepts.

The Outdoor Education Toolkit for Grades 9-12 by the Ontario Physical and Health Education Association (Ophea) provides guidance, tips, safety considerations, and checklists for before and during outdoor education activities. The toolkit also includes lesson plans, conversation starters, and reflection activities.

Toronto Outdoor Education Schools has put together a searchable database of outdoor education activities for all grades and subject areas. 

Nature Companion is a free app/website introducing many of the plants and animals found in Canada’s four western provinces. In just one app, you’ll find basic information about over 300 common plants, trees, birds, animals, insects, reptiles, and amphibians. It's available on or off line. Nature Companion provides short, easy-to-understand descriptions and colourful photographs along with a Did you know? section with interesting, unexpected details about each species. It’s free with no ads or sign up and can be installed on your phone or tablet directly from the Nature Companion website.

The Indigenous Games for Children Resource is a collection of traditional Indigenous games and activities to help introduce or reconnect children to recreational and sport activities that reflect the rich cultural heritage of our Indigenous peoples across Canada. 

Earth School by TedEd is a collection of short videos and lessons organized by the following topics:

  • The Nature of Our Stuff
  • The Nature of Society
  • The Nature of Nature
  • The Nature of Change
  • The Nature of Individual Action
  • The Nature of Collective Action

The Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley has downloadable lesson plans about wildlife, conservation, and climate change for Kindergarten to Grade 9 science and social studies curriculum. They continue to improve these plans, including an ongoing collaboration with the Nakoda Youth Council to weave together Indigenous and Western perspectives and will continue adding lessons to the page. The Biosphere Institute of the Bow Valley truly welcomes teacher input and feedback for improving these resources. 

Furthermore, the Biosphere Institute is excited to visit teachers' digital classroom through your preferred online platform. They are happy to deliver short presentations in topic areas related to climate change, sustainability, and human-wildlife coexistence and are happy to work with teachers on a one-on-one basis to meet their classroom needs. Explore the programs here. Teachers can email education@biosphereinstitute.org to book a program or to reach out with any questions.

Another program is WildSmart, which teaches residents and visitors to live smart with wildlife. Programs include bear spray training sessions, wildlife awareness talks, classroom programs and interactive booths for youth, families, outdoor educators, people employed in the recreation and tourism industry, and outdoor recreationalists.

WILD Outside is a new conservation-based youth leadership program run by the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF). Learning from CWF facilitators alongside their peers, youth who join the WILD Outside program will connect with other participants by exploring the outdoors and planning and carrying out community-based conservation action projects in their own community. We welcome young people from all communities and from many different walks of life and varying experiences.

Outside of our core group of youth (grades 10-12), our Youth Leadership Specialists can work with your school or class to plan and carry out a conservation project that your students are interested in. These projects are open to students from K-12 in all topics of study. We can also come into your class to talk about our programs and run some curriculum programming. 

Yale Climate Connections has created a list of seven of the best new documentaries on climate change. Read the article for summaries of each documentary.