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Nature Lab


3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Videos, 41 minutes, 37 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Worksheets
  • Videos, 6 minutes, 55 seconds
  • Articles and Websites
  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Washington


PDF, Downloadable MP4/M4V

View From a Canoe: Exploring the World's Largest Coastal Temperate Rainforest

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  • This lesson examines the Emerald Edge rainforest, the animals that live in there, and the environmental stewardship of Indigenous people who live in this forest.
  • Students will watch a video that features a First Nation member, fill out worksheets that gauge comprehension and prior knowledge, and engage in a game that allows students to identify animals from the Emerald Edge.
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson examines logging and how it can impact a landscape.
  • This lesson explores the life cycle of a canoe.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is the link to the Virtual Emerald Edge Field Trip video, just scroll down to the video.
  • There's a video link in the Related Resources section, but clicking it won't take you to a new tab.
  • Students should have a basic understanding of Indigenous peoples and their culture.
  • Students should understand the concepts of ecosystems and biodiversity, as well as the effects of using and overusing natural resources, such as trees.


  • To assess prior knowledge, the teacher could ask the class questions about conservation and environmental stewardship before continuing the lesson.
  • This lesson could accompany a brainstorming session where students consider different methods of conservation and environmental activism.
  • Teachers could use this lesson as a conceptual introduction to carbon sinks and their importance.
  • This lesson could enhance a classroom discussion on the differences between Native American culture and mainstream American culture.
  • Students can discuss the differences between industrial logging and fishing and the use of fishing and woodworking in the Tla-O-Qui-Aht First Nations culture.
Scientist Notes
This is a great lesson plan involving a virtual field trip to the largest coastal temperate rainforest that stretches from Washington state to Southeast Alaska, a nature spy student handout, field trip log, vocab graphic organizer, and some discussion questions for older students. This lesson plan includes many links to various topics surrounding the temperate rainforest of the west coast. This resource would be a great addition to a classroom discussion about rainforests and their impact on the climate, both locally and globally.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • 3-ESS2-2. Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
      • 4-ESS2-1. Make observations and/or measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weathering or the rate of erosion by water, ice, wind, or vegetation.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 5-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-3. Develop a model to describe the cycling of matter and flow of energy among living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • 3-LS4-4. Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.
  • English Language Arts
    • Language (K-12)
      • L.VL.4.2 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning academic and domain-specific words and phrases based on grade 4 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.II.3.2 Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
      • SL.II.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
  • Related Resources


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