Project WILD

The Project WILD program is an interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education curriculum and materials that focus on wildlife and conservation for all educators — formal and non-formal, pre-K through high school. The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) provides in-service training for educators in support of the wildlife related Science Standards of Learning as well as essential skills in math and language arts. Project WILD provides educators with the tools, training and resources needed to engage students in active, hands-on learning about wildlife. The activities in the guides aid in developing students’ critical thinking, problem — solving and decision making skills through the use of cross curricular lessons that can be used individually, sequentially or in units.

Why Project Wild?

Every day, natural and wild places are rapidly diminishing and so is wildlife. Project WILD explores how people can understand wildlife and habitat and make decisions that use natural resources wisely.  Project WILD emphasizes wildlife’s ecological and intrinsic value. Project WILD also addresses the need for human beings to be responsible citizens of our planet.

Insects are all around us and can be found in a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes. Project WILD activity “Insect Inspection”

Project WILD Curriculum Guides are routinely updated by the national sponsor, AFWA, and:

– Include helpful, scientific background information with all activities

– Include both field investigations and STEM activities

– Incorporate powerful techniques and methods for teaching problem solving and decision-making skills

– Teaches young people how to think about wildlife, not what to think

– Are kid-tested and teacher-approved!

 

How To Get the Materials

Bird beaks are adapted to find and eat different types of food. How does a Pelican capture its food? Project WILD Activity

Project WILD curriculum guides are available through our FREE Educator workshops conducted by our network of Virginia Project WILD Facilitators, see our workshop selection below.  In Virginia, the Educator workshops are offered for free as part of DWR’s commitment to professional development for educators.

Choose an Educator Workshop That is Right For You

  • K-12 Project WILD Curriculum Workshop and Terrestrial Activity Guide features activities emphasizing terrestrial species and their habitats. A wide range of ecological concepts are covered including: food webs or energy flow, adaptations, interdependence, carrying capacity and habitats. Workshops are ~six hours.
  • K-12 Aquatic WILD Curriculum Workshop and Aquatic Activity Guide provides a look at aquatic wildlife and their ecosystems. This guide supports the watershed and Chesapeake Bay related SOLs as well as the wildlife concepts mentioned above. Workshops are ~six hours.
  • K-12 Project WILD and Aquatic WILD combination Workshop features activities from both the terrestrial and aquatic guides.  Workshops are ~eight hours.
  • Pre-K Growing Up WILD — Exploring Nature with Young Children Curriculum Workshop and Guide: an early childhood curriculum that builds on children’s sense of wonder about nature and invites them to explore wildlife and the world around them. Growing Up WILD provides an early foundation for developing positive impressions about nature and lifelong social and academic skills. Workshops are ~three hours.
  • Flying WILD: Celebrating Birds Curriculum Workshop and Guide features interdisciplinary hands-on classroom activities along with information for engaging students in a school wide bird festival. Key concepts include migration, adaptation, the importance of habitat, and bird conservation efforts. Workshops are ~three hours.
  • Climate and Wildlife Workshop and Guide: this 8 activity module uses wildlife as a focal point as students examine ecological phenomena relating to a changing climate. Workshops are ~three hours.
  • WILD About Elk Workshop and Guide: this guide introduces students to elk and their habitat in the southwestern counties of the Commonwealth. Only available in Southwest VA, workshops are ~ 3 hours.
  • Science and Civics – Sustaining Wildlife Curriculum Workshop and Guide (grades 9–12) contains both government/civics activities and science activities. It is designed to serve as a guide for involving students in environmental action projects aimed at benefiting the local wildlife found in a community. Workshops are ~three hours. *This guide is no longer being updated or printed by Project WILD national and will be phased out of Virginia as the Project WILD and Aquatic WILD guides now contain many of the elements of this guide.

Most of the Educator workshops in Virginia are offered either on professional development days hosted by a local school system or on weekends hosted by a variety of organizations (state parks, nature centers, community centers, etc.).  Please fill out the Project WILD Workshop Interest Form to be placed on our Educator workshop waiting list.  If you are a school system looking for county-wide Project WILD professional development please contact courtney.hallacher@dwr.virginia.gov directly.

Facilitator Workshops

The two-day Project WILD Facilitator training is for those passionate educators that want to conduct Educator workshops to teach other educators how to use the Project WILD suite of curricula. Project WILD facilitator trainings are perfect for college/university professors who want to incorporate project WILD into their pre-service teacher coursework, science curriculum specialists that are interested in conducting Project WILD professional development with teachers in their district/local area, staff at nature centers/parks that host professional development, or any other educator passionate about Project WILD that wants to ignite that passion in other educators. 

Upon completion of the training, Virginia Project WILD Facilitators are expected to facilitate or co-facilitate at least one Educator workshop a year. These Educator workshops may be generated from groups that you already work with or Virginia’s Project WILD State Coordinator may call upon you to host a workshop when there are many educators on the waitlist in your area. During our Facilitator training you will experience activities from each of the guides as well as cover the requirements and procedures for facilitating a Project WILD workshop in Virginia. If you are interested in facilitator training please fill out the Project WILD Workshop Interest Form and choose Facilitator Training.

For information about Virginia’s Project WILD Workshops, contact: Courtney Hallacher, Project WILD Coordinator, at courtney.hallacher@dwr.virginia.gov or at 804-389-4424.

Visit the National Project WILD website
Project WILD is an international wildlife education program of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies