Resources For Teachers

Nature Meets the Classroom
School Programs

Bring your students to the Yankauer Preserve, in Berkeley County, or have PVAS bring a program to your classroom! Lessons are hands-on, linked to WVCSO’s, and great fun for your students. PVAS offers grade-specific programs for classrooms from pre-K-5th grade. We also offer custom programs upon request for pre-K-8th grade. Check out the list of programs (pdf) and call Ellen Murphy, Program Director, for more information or to book a program at 304-676-8739 or

Image of a teacher training program in progress

Teacher Trainings

PVAS occasionally receives grants to lead trainings for local teachers. We can also design a custom program for your team to help increase teachers’ comfort level with teaching outside, using the schoolyard as a classroom, teaching science topics, or integrating environmental education across subject areas. Our staff and volunteers are also certified to lead Growing Up Wild, Project Wild, Project Wild Aquatic, and Flying Wild training sessions. Contact our Program Director, Ellen Murphy, for more information at 304-676-8739 or

Take Your Students Outside

The first step to using your schoolyard to support your already existing lesson plans is to go outside and look!  This guide will help you help your students to connect with nature.  If you are looking for a good field guide for your students, Cornell's Lab of Ornithology can help!


You'll find links to several bird webcams here:

The Eagle Cam at NCTC in Shepherdstown is here:

Jordan's Lake in North Carolina also has an Eagle Cam:

Pete's Pond in Botswana, Africa is here:

The National Zoo in Washington, DC has several Animal Cams:

The San Diego Zoo has Animal Cams as well:

The Bear Cam in Ely MN:

Nature Explorer                                 Kits

These two kits, one on birds and one on insects, supply teachers with a classroom set of everything needed to teach about insects or birds. Field guides, children’s stories, activity ideas, binoculars, bug boxes, insect nets, posters, and more can be found in the kits, depending on the theme. Teachers can check out Nature Explorer Classroom Kits from the Shepherdstown Public Library and are available throughout the state through interlibrary loan. Most activities are for geared for grades K-5, but can be adapted for all ages. Scout leaders are welcome to check these out as well.

Teacher Resources

  • Audubon Adventures is a great website with ideas for using nature in your classroom!
  • The Wisconsin Society for Ornithology has some great video resources on birds, bird habitats, and more.  It's all on BirdTV!
  • The Smithsonian Science Education Center has a new E-book on bugs called Expedition Insects!  It's available for download, here.
  • Cacapon Institute’s Watershed e-School    Great flash videos about macroinvertebrates, “What’s a Watershed”, and impacts of runoff. It has resources appropriate for Elementary through High School.
  • WVEEA West Virginia Environmental Education Association
  • NatureWorks Everywhere is a series of interactive lesson plans by The Nature Conservancy.
  • NAAEE North American Association for Environmental Education
  • NCTC’s Eagle Cam Keep an eye on our local eagle nest!
  • Outdoor Biological Instructional Strategies contains teacher training materials and curriculum.
  • Virtual frog dissection!
  • The Discovery Channel has an extensive site with lesson plans for teachers on a variety of natural history subjects.
  • EPA-Teacher Resources Extensive teacher resources on everything from climate change, to water, to ecosystems.
  • WV Division of Natural Resources has some excellent background information on WV Wildlife, as well as some kids activities in the KidZone.
  • WV Division of Environmental Protection The site provides access to water curricula and programs including access Project WET, Save Our Streams, and their Stream Partners Program.
  • Project Learning Tree is an excellent curriculum about trees. The local contact for training is Herb Peddicord, West Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay Forester.
  • Smithsonian Quests inspire students to explore their own ideas and interests online, in school, at home, and across the nation. The quests connect and reward learners of different ages and in different regions as they learn through discovery and collaboration. Rewards include digital badges that students (and teachers) take with them for life!
  • Animal Fact Sheets for students.  Also in Spanish.

          © 2014 Potomac Valley Audubon Society

              P.O. Box 578 • Shepherdstown, West Virginia 25443
              phone // 304-676-3397

Kristin Alexander, Executive Director
phone // 304-676-3397

Ellen Murphy, Program Director
phone // 304-676-8739

Krista Hawley, Adult Program Coordinator
phone // 703-303-1026
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