Learning about the Chihuahuan Desert
An important goal of the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition is to facilitate integration of learning about our desert into the school curriculum from kindergarten on. The Chihuahuan desert offers a wide variety of habitats that all have their own animal and plant communities, which again are interacting with each other in often wondrous ways that can amaze and inspire people, especially the young. Once children are exposed to the fascinating life of desert animals and plants and the challenges they have to master day in and out, they will appreciate our environment and understand why it needs protection. It is an environment that teaches us that we can master unimaginable challenges and prosper through them. The desert is an open book to explore and find adventures like nowhere else.
To reach this goal, the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition began developing through our teaching members free ready-to-use teaching modules for teachers of all class levels. We are offering one-hour lectures or short filler lectures. The lectures may include suggestions for activities or motivate a visit to a local museum, zoo, or park, in order to complete the learning with a hands-on exploration. The different modules are grouped roughly according to plants and animals and may be used across the curriculum. For kindergarten teachers we are developing drawings and hidden object pages that are listed on our KIDS page.
Our first selection is still small, but our team will continuously update the website with new modules and additions and/or revisions to old ones. Check our site regularly and you will not be disappointed. We also appreciate your feedback and hope that you also share with us your own modules, if you have some on the Chihuahuan Desert. For more information contact Dr. Gertrud Konings at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bobcat – Watch film
Western Edge of the Chihuahuan Desert – Chiricahuas: Mountain Islands in the Desert – Watch the Film
Desert Food – Ever wondered about cooking in class with native plants and fruits? Find information and recipes at Native Seeds/SEARCH .
Mountain Lion Biology – Watch film
New Mexico bird’s-foot trefoil (Lotus plebeius) Download the PDF file
Education Programs Offered by CDEC Members and Affiliates
Teachers, civic organizations and members of the media will find a wealth of Chihuahuan Desert related programs and resources available from CDEC member organizations and individuals. Every year staff and volunteers present a wide variety of Chihuahuan Desert programs, many using live animals and PowerPoint presentations.
CDEC presently supports the It’s Your World Cleanup/Art Project of art teacher Candace Printz from the El Dorado High School in the Socorro Independent School District. You can support this project through their GoFundMe site.
October Desert Clean-up: learning about plants in the area
Other Education Programs and Resources
- Find links for animal and plant identification on our Resources page.
- Education Programs
Teachers Can Apply for Summer Internships at Chamizal National Memorial
The National Park Service (NPS) offers professional development opportunities for certified teachers across the country through the Teacher Corps Internship (TCI). Teachers will learn about park resources, participate in … Learn More
Big Bend For Teachers
Big Bend has a wealth of opportunities for teachers, scout and youth leaders. Whether you’re planning a park visit for your students, looking for lesson plans or other resources to use in your classroom or home, or hoping to have a ranger visit, we’ve got it.
Think of your National Parks as off-site classrooms! There are many ways to utilize America’s treasures as teaching tools. After all, we have “the real thing,” and we love to work with you to teach students the importance of the special places we all work together to preserve and protect for the future. Learn More
White Sands National Monument: Teacher-to-Ranger-to-Teacher program
The National Park Service Teacher Ranger Teacher (TRT) program is an extended professional development opportunity for educators from K-12 schools to learn about the resources and educational materials available through the NPS. TRT’s spend most of their time engaging with park education projects, learning about park resources, and developing lesson plans to use in their classrooms… Learn More
Texas Master Naturalist Program
This program will offer participants with 16 weeks of training (including 6 trips), essential information and strategies to restore and conserve our indigenous species and habitats… Learn More
El Paso County Master Gardeners
In El Paso, approximately 25 volunteer gardeners are selected each year and trained extensively. All volunteers chosen to participate in the Master Gardener Program are required to serve a minimum of 60 hours of community service … Learn More