Free Online Educational Resources!

The Montana Natural History Center has great digital resources for parents and teachers who are interested in engaging children in nature and science learning opportunities.

Sign up here to join our email list to receive webinar information plus MNHC updates and news.

MNHC staff are working hard to provide you with new content that’s accessible online. While we are offering these great resources free of charge, we ask you to consider a small donation to help keep our operations going during these times. You can DONATE HERE. Thank you for your generosity and support!

The Age of the Coronapocene Webinar Series

Click on the photo above for recordings of all our Age of the Coronapocene Webinars.

Our panel of experts from the University of Montana answer some of the big questions we’re asking right now: What are viruses? Where did COVID-19 come from? Why is social distancing so important? What does the science tell us?

Join us for answers to these questions and more as we explore informative, real, and heartfelt discussions over the reality of living with the novel coronavirus.

NatureWebs

Click the photo above for recordings of all our NatureWebs.

MNHC staff are working hard to provide you with new content that’s accessible online. While we are offering these great resources free of charge, we ask you to consider a small donation to help keep our operations going during these times. You can DONATE HERE. Thank you for your generosity and support!

Nature's Notes

Click the photo above to access Nature’s Notes, a collaboration between the Missoula Symphony Association and the Montana Natural History Center.

Nature’s Notes’ videos and activities explore the connections between music and some of Montana’s most beautiful, natural music and sounds in nature!

MNHC staff are working hard to provide you with new content that’s accessible online. While we are offering these great resources free of charge, we ask you to consider a small donation to help keep our operations going during these times. You can DONATE HERE. Thank you for your generosity and support!

Field Notes

Field Notes on Montana Public Radio are written by naturalists, students, and listeners about Montana’s natural history. Audio and print versions of past Field Notes can be found on our website. Subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Climate Change Video Series

Recommended age: high school
Through five video interviews with experts from the University of Montana, aligned discussion questions, and supporting classroom materials, educators and students can explore the challenges of climate change, learn how to seek local involvement, and maintain hope through our newly-developed resources.

Montana Naturalist Magazine

Back issues of Montana Naturalist are available for free download. Check out great articles and the Get Outside Guides in each issue aimed at younger readers and families.

ID Naturalist

Coming soon!

Free ID Naturalist subscriptions!

Recommended age: grades 3-6

What is a naturalist? How do you represent a place using only color? What does the sound of a place look like? Explore the answers to these questions and many more with the Montana Natural History Center’s ID Naturalist program. Interactive video lessons introduce and model journaling prompts to help students discover their naturalist self.  

MNHC YouTube Channel

Recommended ages: all
Check out our educational videos, from our Evening with a Naturalist conversations to our fun, entertaining, and informative Science Shorts! 

Other Recommended Education Resources:

We also have an extensive list (including the resources below plus quite a few others) on our recent blog post. (Fewer photos, longer list!)

Streamable Learning

Recommended age: all 

Different content providers offer engaging programs on a variety of subjects via live video conferencing.

Webinar for Teachers: Distance Learning

This webinar shares tips for creating engaging lessons, communicating remotely, and collaborating online. A helpful resource for classroom teachers making the switch to a virtual environment.

Community of Learning

Recommended age: grades K – 6

The Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration and its wonderful content providers have come together to provide core curriculum every day of the week for homebound students in grades K-6th. Beginning March 23rd we will offer, free of charge, fun, interactive, live-streamed programs from 9:30am to 3:30pm Eastern time. The programs, which will cover topics in STEM, social studies, literacy, and art/music, are delivered by our highly professional content providers. Most of the programs will be recorded so that students can access them at any time after the live program.

PBS Learning Media: Earth & Space Science

Recommended age: grades K – 12

WGBH in collaboration with NASA presents digital media resources you can use to teach topics in K–12 Earth and Space Science. These free resources are organized into four grade bands. Each resource emphasizes engaging students in phenomena related to core ideas and science and engineering practices of the Next Generation Science Standards.

PBS Learning Media: Bring the World to You

Recommended age: grades pre-K – 12

MontanaPBS and PBS have curated FREE, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans, and more for teachers (and parents!) like you. Covers a wide range of topics: social studies, language arts, science, the arts, math, engineering & technology, health & physical education, languages, and more.

Bug Bytes Podcast

Recommended age: 10 – adult

As described by Edward O. Wilson, invertebrates are “The Little Things That Run the World.” And indeed they do, in so many ways. In terms of numbers — while most invertebrates are pretty small, the sheer number of them is astounding. Together, they have more biomass than any other animal on earth. Learn more about the fascinating creatures that run the world, with Bug Bytes from the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium.

BirdSleuth Explorer's Guidebook

Recommended age: grades K – 12

We want to help you get kids outside and enjoying your backyard, neighborhood, and local parks. Take kids on a habitat scavenger hunt, create a sound map, and test bird ID skills with this adaptable activity book designed to be used by families, school groups, and anyone looking for a fun way to connect to nature. Inspired by the federal Every Kid in a Park initiative and geared towards fourth graders, this step-by-step guide will help you explore our country’s diverse habitats and the birds that live there.

Mystery Science

Recommended age: grades K-5

Standards-based and hands-on science lessons.

Crash Course

Recommended age: high school

Tons of awesome courses in one awesome channel! Check out the playlists for courses in physics, astronomy, biology, ecology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, philosophy, sociology, computer science, film history, mythology, games, economics, U.S. government and politics, world history, literature, psychology, and U.S. history.

PBS Learning Media

Recommended age: grades pre-K – 12

As teachers, students, and families deal with school closures, PBS LearningMedia producers and educators have come together to curate a special collection of resources organized by grade and subject area. Find videos, lesson plans, and activities that support learning at home. Create a free account to save and organize content.

For early educators, we’ve assembled packets of printable activities to download and share with parents and students. Check out our PreK-K packet, and Grades 1-2 packets.

Journey to the Microcosmos

Recommended age: 12 – adult

Take a dive into the tiny, unseen world that surrounds us! With music by Andrew Huang, footage from James Weiss, and narration by Hank Green, we want to take you on a fascinating, reflective journey through the microcosmos.

Exploratorium Learning Toolbox

Recommended age: grades 2-8 (ish)

Make sense of timely topics and find general science support for your virtual classroom or learning together at home.

The Brain Scoop

Recommended age: all

Emily Graslie, the Chief Curiosity Correspondent of The Field Museum in Chicago and former volunteer of the University of Montana Zoological Museum, shares some of the amazing things the Field Museum has in its collection with the Internet! A rollicking good (and informative) time.

MinuteEarth

Recommended age: all

Science and stories about our awesome planet! Topics include animal behavior, geology, ecology & conservation, anatomy & health, biology, earth history, energy & climate change, and more.

Ranger Rick

Recommended age: grades pre-K – 5

Free access to the digital editions, activities, and resources of Ranger Rick are available through June. Parents working to educate and entertain their children while schools are closed also can access the monthly Ranger Rick Educator’s Guides and Ranger Rick Jr. Parent Reading Guides.

The Cornell Lab Bird Academy

Recommended age: all

Keep learning with this curated collection of videos from the Cornell Lab! Learn how to identify bird songs, how woodpeckers avoid brain injury, how cliff swallows build their nests, and much, much more.

SciShow Kids

Recommended age: 4-10

SciShow Kids explores all those curious topics that make us ask “why?” Whether conducting experiments, researching new questions, or talking with experts, there’s always something new to discover with SciShow Kids, no matter what your age!

Crash Course Kids

Recommended age: grades 2-6 (ish)

This bi-weekly show from the producers of Crash Course is all about gradeschool science. We’ll look at Earth, Habitats, Space, Chemical Reactions, Engineering, and much much more with host Sabrina Cruz. Join us every Tuesday and Thursday for new uploads. This series is beginning with 5th grade science, so we’ll be delving into Earth Science, Physical Science, Biology, Geography, Engineering, and Astronomy. Have a look at our playlists on each subject!

PBS Eons

Recommended age: 10 – adult

Join hosts Hank Green, Kallie Moore, and Blake de Pastino as they take you on a journey through the history of life on Earth. From the dawn of life in the Archaean Eon through the Mesozoic Era — the so-called “Age of Dinosaurs” — right up to the end of the most recent Ice Age.

Getting Outside during COVID-19

Recommended age: all

The coronavirus pandemic is rapidly altering our daily life. It is important to be aware of the most current information from the CDC on these changes, and that goes for changes to the way we spend time outside as well.

Unless it’s mandated, you don’t need to be stuck indoors. Now is the time to enjoy our local trails, open spaces, and parks. Rather than travel to big name outdoor areas, see what is available in your own backyard and neighborhood!

To keep ourselves, our communities, and our outdoor spaces safe and healthy during this time, please consider these recommendations from Leave No Trace.

Experiments at Home!

Recommended age: all

Looking for an easy, exciting science activity to capture your kids’ interest? ExplorationWorks! has selected the best experiments for your kitchen laboratory, with supplies you have on hand.

Cornell Lab of Ornithology Live Bird Cams

Recommended age: all

Tune in to a web cam!

The Cornell Lab Bird Cams connect viewers worldwide to the diverse and intimate world of birds. We work to make watching an active experience, sparking awareness and inspiration that can lead to conservation, education, and engagement with birds.

Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cams

Recommended age: all

Tune in to a web cam!

Be delighted by the antics of our sea otters or mellow out to the hypnotic drifting of our jellies. With ten live cams to choose from, you can experience the wonder of the ocean no matter where you are.

12 Historic Sites You Can Virtually Tour for Free

Recommended age: all

From the Louvre to Yosemite to the Smithsonian to the Great Wall of China, here are 12 sites you (and your family) can tour from your couch.