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The Harvard Museum of Natural History offers resources for teachers to use in the classroom and while visiting the museum with students, including educator guides, professional development courses, gallery activities, and exhibit DVDs.


Teacher Professional Development

Teaching Adaptations in the Elementary School Classroom

April 21, 22, and 23, 2015, 9:00 am–3:00 pm

Flying frogs, heat-producing lilies, blood-squirting lizards—the amazing adaptations of plants and animals confound and delight us all. How did these adaptations arise? During this three-day program, participants will look closely at fossil, modern, and living examples of adaptation, learn about the evolutionary processes that produce these structures and behaviors, and find ways to share these wonders with elementary-aged students that will give them a solid foundation for learning about evolution in middle school and beyond.

This program is intended for teachers of grades 3-5. It also supports NGSS standards for grade 6. All grade levels and informal educators welcome.

Participants will earn 15 PDPs. Fee: $120. Some scholarships available. For more information see attached flyer. Register here.


Free online videos for the classroom and professional development

Watch museum lectures by world-renowned Harvard faculty and guest speakers, and explore short video sets devoted to specific science content.



Teacher Enews

Interested in up-to-date information about new school programs, professional development opportunities, gallery activities, and other education resources? Sign-up for the Teacher Enews by submitting your email address to the Email Updates box on the left of this page and select Teacher Enews.



Teacher's Guide

Download the Teacher's Guide or go to School Visits to learn more about school programs offered by the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Watch the video Making the Most of Your Visit for an overview of the museum and what to expect during a visit.



Museum Map

 Download the map of the museum's galleries for your school visit. 




Gallery Activities

Looking for a way to engage your students as they explore the galleries? The Gallery Activities are designed to help students focus on some of the larger themes presented in the museum. They challenge students to look closely and draw meaningful conclusions about the collections. Choose from these activities:

Forest Explorers
Recommended for Pre-K and Kindergarten
Young students search high and low for plants and animals living in the forest.

Museum Safaris
Recommended for Pre-K, Kindergarten, and Grade 1
Young students practice categorizing and observation skills as they find and draw gallery specimens.

Animal Detectives
Recommended for Grades 1–6
Students practice close observation as they search for animals in the exhibits.

Gallery Games
Recommended for Grades 1–6
Look closely and have fun in the exhibits with these group challenges.

Mineral Hall Activities
Recommended for Grades 2–5
Students observe common minerals and learn what properties make them unique.

Junior Paleontologist
Recommended for Grades 2–5
Students look closely at fossils to make hypotheses about the animals’ lives.

Animal Trackers
Recommended for Grades 3–5
Students practice identifying animal tracks by matching pictures of footprints to animals in the New England Forests exhibition.

Geologic Time Scale
Recommended for Grades 3–8
For use in your classroom before or after a visit.

Thoreau's Maine Woods: Seeing It Your Way
Recommended for Grades 6–8
Students write factual and emotional responses to contemporary images of the woods of Maine.

Explore Evolution
Recommended for Grades 6–8 (can be used as a starting place for Grades 9–12)
Students investigate evolutionary concepts in the museum’s world-class collections.



Impact!: An Asteroid's Journey to Earth

An Interactive Program for Educators

IMPACT! An Asteroid’s Journey to Earth, an interactive DVD developed for middle and high school classrooms, presents current scientific thinking about asteroids, impacts, and impact craters. Learn more about Impact! and how to order this resource for your classroom.



Climate Change: Our Global Experiment

Materials for Educators

In conjunction with the exhibition Climate Change: Our Global Experiment, the Harvard Museum of Natural History has developed a suite of educational materials designed to extend learning from the exhibition to the classroom and to help teachers address various National Science Standards in earth science, physics, chemistry, and science and technology. Although educators are encouraged to schedule a visit with their students, the materials also stand on their own as effective teaching and learning tools. Learn more about Climate Change: Our Global Experiment and how to order this resource for your classroom.