Class Activities

What's in a desert? | About the project | Classroom gardens

Below are some of the activities that are available on this site. There are several other activities besides these, but these are the ones we feel you'll most likely want to use in your classroom.

Create Something

Kids are creative! With the Create Something lesson plans, we encourage our students to use their creativity while learning. You'll find activities your kids will love doing, from writing activities to crafts.

Grade levels Spanish Version Teacher version Math Science Reading/ Writing Cognition Creativity
Write a Poem Using the database to select an animal or plant, students will write a poem using attributes from the animal or plant. 3-6 - - - - Yes No Yes

Think About It

Encourage higher-level thinking in your students with these puzzles, problem solving activities and reasoning games.

Grade levels Spanish Version Teacher version Math Science Reading/ Writing Cognition Creativity
Invent a Desert Critter Using imagination and information from the database, students create an imaginary animal that can survive in one or more of the desert zones. This animal can be a combination of other animals or completely make believe. 3-6 - - - Yes Yes Yes Yes
The Day the Water Ran Out Activity where students research issues regarding water, such as where it comes from and how much do we have. 3-6 - - - Yes Yes Yes Yes
Word Search Grid of letters that contains hidden words from the plant databse. 3-6 - - - Yes Yes Yes Yes
Let's Go Fishing Students get to know some interesting facts about fish by doing research in the database. - - - - - - - -
Precritter Students use the database to learn more about desert habitats. - - - - - - - -

Experiment and Explore

The scientific process is exciting and important. Encourage exploration and questioning in your students with these activities and readings.

Grade levels Spanish Version Teacher version Math Science Reading/ Writing Cognition Creativity
What is Science? Students can read about science, how to be a scientist, the questioning process, designing exploration and more. Experiment Writing Activities 3-6 Yes - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
The Artifact Problem Create an archeological map. Investigate artifact finding and the science of archeology. K-4 5-8 - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Seed Socks Take a walk in the wild. Investigate the travel methods of seeds. K-8 - - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dirty Day Experiments Collect and compare soil samples. Investigate soil properties. 2 & up - - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Germinating Seeds Compare the effects of temperature on growth rates. Investigate the growth and development of seeds. K & up - - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Chihuahua Desert Study Studies biodiversity in the Chihuahuan desert. Investigate living and nonliving elements of this ecosystem. 2 & up - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Desert Homes Study of native New Mexican cultures and their homes. Investigate how weather influences home construction. Build a model. 4-8 - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Our Desert Backyard - - Yes - - - - -

WebQuests

WebQuests give students a chance to role play as they research and recommend solutions to real world problems. Students are encouraged to use the web, books and other media as resources as they prepare presentations and reports. WebQuests encourage cooperative learning as students work in group, and students develop their media literacy skills in researching problems. To learn more about the use of WebQuests, please visit Bernie Dodge's WebQuest Page.

Grade levels Spanish Version Teacher version Math Science Reading/ Writing Cognition Creativity
Yerbas y Remedios Upper Elementary and Middle School plant sciences and health. Students investigate the medicinal uses of plants and herbs by early cultures in the New Mexico area. 3-6 Yes Yes - Yes Yes Yes Yes
National Museum of Natural History Upper Elementary and Middle School science, mathematics and New Mexico history. Students serve as Southwest curators for the National Museum of Natural History, focusing on gardens and cultures of New Mexico. 3-6 - - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Native American Three Sisters Gardens Elementary and Middle School science, Native American studies and some mathematics. Students explore the Native American planting system that allows three plants to form a micro ecosystem. - - - - - - - -
Three SistersCooking Elementary and Middle School science, mathematics and health.Students create healthy recipes using traditional plants and foods. - - - - - - - -
Celebrating the Harvest.Elementary and Middle School science and cultural studies with some mathematics. This WebQuest will let you explore the celebrations of harvest here and around the world. You will also explore processes of harvesting, storing, and perserving foods and nonfood products. 3-6 - - Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sowing Seeds of the Future Research varieties of Native American food crops. - - - - - - - -
Deserts of the World Create an interactive exhibit comparing the Chihuahuan Desert to other desert areas of the world. - - - - - - - -