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The BEETLEs project is sponsored by the University of California – Berkeley and provides an impressive assortment of nature-based learning activities for students of any age. Activities that encourage outside exploration are described in detail and demonstrated in curriculum examples on topics such as adaptation and evolution, structure and function, and ecosystems.

The website hosts recommended curricula to cover these concepts, with core and extension activities outlined in detailed lesson plans. To locate these modules, select, “Extended Sequences” on the right hand side. The module “Adaptations, Structures, & Function Theme” offers approximately 10 hours of lessons, some of which are scripted for teachers. Recommended lessons and activities encourage students to hold more agency in the learning space, with activities that encourage communication and description of new phenomena. Lessons can be aligned with a field trip experience to an outdoor space, with pre- and post- activities recommended to process what students see and engage with outdoors.

Note: The lesson structure of BEETLEs content aligns closely with ESL teachers’ desire to have students practice communicating and interpreting things in English. It includes vocabulary that frequently emerges in each topic that is covered.