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Children's Environmental Literacy Foundation


K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th



Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans
  • Activity - Outdoors
  • Artwork

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New York



Neighborhood Nature Scavenger Hunt

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  • This activity explores plants and animals that live in New York state and how they interact with their surroundings.
  • Students will complete an outdoor activity where they observe nature and a post-activity discussion where they reflect on what they observed.
Teaching Tips


  • The activity is a hands-on method for cultivating environmental awareness in students.
  • It gets students outside and encourages an appreciation for the environment.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Before administering the lesson, teachers should find a safe place where students can observe a diverse range of wildlife.
  • It may be helpful if students are already familiar with many of the animals on the Nature Search page.


  • This activity can be completed using different images of plants and animals that are in your local area instead.
  • This activity can fit within a larger unit on different types of ecosystems and their ecological importance.
  • Consider using this outdoor activity anytime your students head outside to give them practice looking for wildlife and noticing their surroundings.
Scientist Notes
This activity encourages students to observe and pay special attention to different things in their surroundings, which is a fundamental skill in science. Students will also observe nature in their community. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • CCC.Systems and System Models: A system is an organized group of related objects or components; models can be used for understanding and predicting the behavior of systems.
      • 3-5-CCC-Systems and System Models.2. A system can be described in terms of its components and their interactions.
    • ESS3.A: Natural Resources
      • K-ESS3-A. Living things need water, air, and resources from the land, and they live in places that have the things they need. Humans use natural resources for everything they do. (K-ESS3-1)
    • LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans
      • 2-LS4-D. There are many different kinds of living things in any area, and they exist in different places on land and in water. (2-LS4-1)
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • 2-LS4-1 Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
      • 2-LS4-1. Make observations of plants and animals to compare the diversity of life in different habitats.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.6.K-2 Identify some cultural and environmental characteristics of specific places.
  • Related Resources


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