Curriculum & Activities

The Sandia Mountain Natural History Center has a comprehensive suite of materials that will support and enhance your students' field experience.  Though it's preferable students are introduced to ecosystems in preparation for the program, much of the following may also be effectively utilized to build upon their experience afterward. 
  • SMNHC Virtual Field Trip is a full series of video lessons on the SMNHC YouTube channel, filmed on-site in the Sandia Mountains by SMNHC staff as part of APS @Home during the Covid-19 closure. They cover all concepts integral to the students' normal Ecology Field Experience, including an activity in each that students can do at-home. View and download accompanying lesson plans.

  • SMNHC Field Experience Activities are several lessons that are done outdoors. Many of these activities are used during SMNHC programs in the Sandia Mountains, and can be adapted as teachers see fit for their class and local ecosystem. 

  • At-Home Activities are ones that can be done in pretty much any outdoor space (backyard/neighborhood/park/etc.), and a couple are done on a computer. Students can do these as part of distance learning, for homework, or in the schoolyard.

  • Wildlife Visits to Sandia Mountain Springs Lessons is a 20-minute video lesson all about Mud spring and its wildlife visitorsand an accompanying written lesson in which students make predictions about, graph, and analyze real data of wildlife visits to our natural springs. Includes a teacher's lesson plan guide. Aligned to middle school NGSS.

  • Educating Ecosystems Explorers: An Endangered Species Curriculum is a comprehensive curriculum of lessons for each of 5 New Mexico Species of Concern. Students investigate threats to species and their habitat, use critical thinking to assess conditions, interpret data, write management and recovery plans, and more. Aligned to middle school NGSS. Includes full teacher lesson plans.

  • Pre-Trip Kit was created by SMNHC staff specifically to prepare students for our program and is aligned to CCSS, NMSS, and NGSS.

  • Pre and Post-Trip Tests to test your students' knowledge before and after their day here.  English & Spanish versions available.

  • SMNHC Mini Curriculum is packed with great short and simple activities that will help your students become familiar with the content area, vocabulary, and concepts of ecosystems. 

  • Ecosystem Explorations is a more in-depth curriculum which fosters a deeper understanding of ecosystems. Ecosystem Explorations can be used before or after the SMNHC field experience.