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Educator Resources

Welcome Educators! The City Nature Challenge (CNC) is a great way to explore life science concepts, apply science skills in the field, and connect students with a global community of biodiversity observers. Here you can access the international education toolkit and find free local resources to prepare your students to participate in the Boston Area CNC.

Observation Pocket Guide in English and Spanish

Follow the tips in these guides to take pictures of plants, animals and insects that have the best chance of being identified. Download to use the guide on your mobile device or print and take with you!

International Education Toolkit

Welcome to the City Nature Challenge Education Toolkit! Here you can find classroom activities, field investigations, media and guides to prepare students, nature center visitors, homeschools and more for the CNC. Find tips for bringing kids outside, learn how students can contribute to the CNC through iNaturalist or another observation platform, and see how CNC can fit into your curriculum or education programs.

Tree Box

Step 1: Get Ready to Bring Kids Outside

Read this educator guide for tips for facilitating, managing, and supporting student outdoor learning and exploration in schoolyards, nearby park, or other green space. View Guide

Inaturalist Box

Step 2: Learn How to Use iNaturalist

Take a tour through iNaturalist, the website we will use in the U.S. to document observations. Learn how to best use this technology with students. This can be used in any formal or informal education setting. View Guide

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Step 3: Integrate into your Curriculum / Education Program

View our “Educator Basecamp,” recommended progressions for short classroom and field activities for formal and informal settings. Progressions include activities, media, and other tools for the CNC, for a variety of ages and experience levels. See how they help to meet science standards and educational goals.

Field Training for Educators

View our introductory webinar video from 2018 (below) that explains the City Nature Challenge and shows you how to use our website and the iNaturalist app to record plants and wildlife in your own backyard! Download slides from this webinar here.

Local Resources

Encyclopedia of Life Biodiversity Cards - New England Habitats and Species

Compare and learn facts and figures about organisms with Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) Biodiversity Cards. Students can collect cards or play games to learn about classification and adaptations. Visit cards for the full list of cards, a user guide, and links to lesson plans using cards. The following decks highlight the diversity of New England from forests to the ocean. Download and print them out!