Neal Smith Prairie

Teachers Going Green is excited to partner with the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge. We’ll be working together on lessons, teacher training and making connections.
Since 1990 the Refuge has protected and restored the diverse native ecosystems of tall-grass prairie, oak savanna, and sedge meadow, the native habitats existing in central Iowa before Europeans settled here. Teachers Going Green shares the Refuge's mission for environmental education and outdoor recreation.
We’ll also work together to increase scientific knowledge and understanding (STEM). On this page and throughout the Clean and Green pages, you’ll find lessons that Refuge staff developed and uses with school groups. You’ll also find additional resources that may be helpful in your own exploration of the prairie. Or your own school yard. Here's a list of the lessons organized by grade level. Each heading is a link to the page for that grade. 

Kindergarten Lessons

Prairie Bug Hunt

Prairie Explorers

What Do Birds Do on the Prairie?     

What is Prairie?

Where Do Prairie Animals Live?

First Grade Lessons

Curious About Clouds

Investigating the Invisible        

Meet a Prairie Plant

Praire Soil Explorers


Second Grade Lessons

Burrow Investigation

First Americans on the Prairie

Let's Sketch on the Prairie

Prairie Animal Adaptation

Prairie Food Cupboard

Prairie Hike and Investigation

Third Grade Lessons

Plant Life Cycles

Prairie Bird Investigation

Prairie Insects

Prairie Plants Change

Sticky Seed Situation

The Secrets of Watching Wildlife

Fourth Grade Lessons

Bio Blitz

Bison Investigation

Habitat Comparisons

Prairie Celebrations

Reading the Landscape


Fifth Grade Lessons

A Sense of Wonder

Catch and Release Insects

Discovering Diversity

Favorites on the Prairie

Hooping it Up on the Prairie

Prairie Birthdays

Weathering Winter


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