Parents & Teachers

Family walking on a trail.What better place to teach a child than the outdoors! Hiawatha National Forest offers numerous activities and learning opportunities that help parents and teachers immerse children in nature. We hope that the resources on this page will help you get your kids or students outside and learning. Click here to learn more about things to do with kids on the Hiawatha and check out Just For Kids to see the programs we offer throughout the year.

Online Resources with Lesson Plans and Curricula

  • The Forest Service Educator Toolbox is a useful collection of resources and materials organized by topic and grade level.
  • The Smokey Bear website has lesson plans and activities for K-8 about wildfire prevention and safety.
  • Use the following stories for young children: Smokey Bear’s Story and craft activity, Why Would Anyone Cut Down a Tree?, and Woodsy’s ABCs.
  • Visit Celebrating Wildflowers for native wildflower and pollinator resources.
  • Download three curriculum guides on Non-Native Invasive Species for grades pre-K through high school.
  • FSNatureLive brings nature learning through a series of webcasts, webinars, and education webinars on subjects such as climate change, pollinators, wetlands, and more.
  • Learn about cool places to watch nature, access teacher materials, and find apps to enhance your outdoor experience at the Forest Service’s NatureWatch.
  • Check out free science education journals and activities for students from pre-K through high school at Natural Inquirer.
  • Project Learning Tree (PLT) provides educators with the tools, training, and resources they need to bring nature into their classrooms. You’ll also find activities to do at home for families. Be sure to check out the Michigan PLT website for lesson plans adapted for natural resources found in Michigan.
  • Project EduBat is an interdisciplinary curriculum for K-12 where bats become the focus for making science come alive in the classroom.
  • Access the Hands on the Land network for a diverse array of hands-on learning opportunities for teachers and students.


Every Kid Outdoors

Every Kid Outdoors logo

Did you know that fourth grade students and their families have free access to hundreds of parks, forests, and refuges for an entire year?  Whether you are a parent of a fourth grader or a teacher of a fourth grade class, all you have to do to register the fourth grader(s) is visit Teachers, you’ll also find four lesson plans to download and use in the classroom too.

Residential Learning at Clear Lake Education Center

Clear Lake Camp Sign

Clear Lake Education Center (CLEC) is a residential learning camp located inside Hiawatha National Forest. It is a place for youth of all ages to connect with their natural world through integrated educational and recreational programs. Programs are interdisciplinary and focus on environmental sciences, cultural history, natural resource careers, personal growth, and team building. For more information about Clear Lake Education Center, click here.

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