Educator Resources

The links below have been created by the staff of the Tallgrass Prairie Center and Green Iowa AmeriCorps members over the years and provide a range of information, lessons, activities, and other resources for the formal and informal educator. The aim of this page is to assist teachers of all varieties with options and ideas to connect youth to the outdoors and our lost and limited landscape of Iowa tallgrass prairie.


Prairie Roots Lessons

Ten lesson plans connecting youth to prairie using an active learning approach

Botany Beginners

A beginners course on plant ID with an emphasis on how to learn native Iowa plants. Great for high school teachers!

Irvine Prairie

Visitors info, field trip activities, observation guides, and more on Irvine Prairie located near Dysart, Iowa

Keepers of the Earth

Eight lessons from the classic book Keepers of the Earth that teaches our youth Earth stewardship and promotes prairie biodiversity

New to Nature 

Several resources for the educator new to extending class beyond the four walls and taking their students outdoors

Community Science

Connect to the range of possibilities for community science and decide which monarch program or app is right for you!

Nature Activities

Twenty flexible outdoor activities that can connect a teacher and their students to learning outside. And spark ideas for future lessons!

Observation Guides

Bird, grass, and forb (wildflower) observation guides to use in your visit out to Irvine Prairie! How many plants and animals will you find?

Boy Scouts of America

List of possible Boy Scouts of America merit badge requirements that can be completed at Irvine Prairie or the TPC

Xerces Kids

Resources for educators and parents who want to inspire the next generation to care for invertebrates

Prairie Coloring Book

A coloring book of prairie plants, animals, and insects designed by AmeriCorps service member Bri Hull