Tucson Audubon offers a variety of resources for teachers and other education professionals to check out for their education programs, free of charge. Most of these resources are geared towards 1st-6th graders, but they may be adapted for other ages. For more information about Educator Resources at Tucson Audubon, please contact Andy Bennett.
Urban Birding Education Program
The goal of this program is to provide educators with information and curriculum tools for teaching biological and ecological concepts through the study of wildlife that share our urban neighborhoods and schoolyards.
We have two elementary-level science curricula available for free download that highlight the animals living in our own backyards. Bound hard copies of these curricula are also available upon request.
1. Desert Birding in Arizona with a Focus on Urban Birds – by Doris Evans. Birds abound in our neighborhoods, schoolyards, and parks. This curriculum guide incorporates science, social studies, language skills, mathematics, and the arts. Kits containing the materials for activities in Lessons One, Two, Three, and Ten may be checked out at Tucson Audubon Society.
2. Arthropodantics: Living science in the classroom and schoolyard – by Janet Bardwell, Doris Evans and Robin Roche. Learn about the fascinating lives of desert arthropods and the important role they play in our world. This curriculum guides teachers through lessons and hands-on activities designed to take students exploring on their school grounds and in their neighborhoods to learn about these fascinating organisms that live in our midst.
Educator Resource Kits
Kits are reserved on a first come, first served basis and may be checked out for up to two weeks at a time. Each kit can be checked out from Tucson Audubon Society’s library at the Main Offices/ Nature Shop, southeast corner of University Blvd. and 5th Ave. Educators are responsible for repairing/replacing lost or damaged materials. Links to reserve these resources are located at the bottom of this page.
Below is a brief inventory of the materials kits; these kits do not contain curriculum:
- Binoculars – Each kit contains ~15 pairs of binoculars and 6-12 bird field guides; there are 4 kits
- Skulls – Includes 9 mammal skulls, 4 bird skulls, and 3 retile skulls; all local animals
- Bird Nests – The kit includes nests of hummingbirds, orioles, woodpeckers, goldfinch, grackles, and pewee
The following kits contain curriculum:
- Bats – this kit serves as a resource for teachers and includes background information, a curriculum guide and ideas for many bat study activities
- Cornell Lab BirdSleuth – a complete system for teaching youth about birds and birding; background at Cornell Lab
- Desert Adaptations – students search for and sketch examples of desert plant adaptations and signs of animal life
- Desert Birding in Arizona with a Focus on Urban Birds – includes an introduction to bird ID, which introduces the concepts of field marks, calls and habitat that aid us in bird identification; a bird tool kit and a migration exercise, among others
- Herps – laminated posters illustrating common herps, snake anatomy, snake myths and herps in art; specimens include a rattlesnake skull, skin and rattle; also observation cards and a set of “50 Common Reptiles and Amphibians” for use in the field
- Reptile Kit
- Saguaro Story – velcro board story showing the interrelationships between saguaros and other desert life, and activities involving observations in the field and a variety of specimens
- Skull Session – students examine a number of mammal skulls and determine that species by noting teeth, eye placement, shape and size of skull. Six skulls are currently in the kit
- Sonoran Sense of Place – activities introduce children to various ways to observe and experience nature
- Tracks and Scats – a set of mammal foot and scat replicas are included along with lessons incorporating these materials
- Tracking and Trapping – a complete system for trapping small mammels, with Sherman live traps, booklets, and supplies, plus a track-making and casting system
- Wild Wings Songbird Story Kit – great for introducing K-5 students to birds; puppets, stories, and other props included