Facilitating the protection and restoration of species and ecosystems at risk on BC’s South Coast

Species at Risk in the Classroom - A Resource for educators

Species at Risk in the Classroom ("SARitc" for short) is the SCCP's unique curriculum resource made for formal and informal educators on the South Coast! Feel free to download the modules below and explore how you can link conservation and nature exploration objectives to your curriculum or environmental education programming. With the new BC Curriculum the time is right more than ever to connect your students to nature-based programs and resources.

As part of SARitc, the SCCP also provides cost-effective, specialized expertise to work with you and your class, school or organization to deliver unique lesson plans and programming focused on local species at risk and biodiversity conservation issues. Looking to get your class or school involved in habitat restoration or find out how your students can become citizen scientists? The SCCP understands that exploring and implementing inquiry-based activities and bringing in specialists or experts requires resources and planning. The budgetary constraints that schools and educators are facing today to actualize on these goals are daunting. Looking for potential funding resources? Check out some of the grant opportunities at the bottom of this page.


Why the classroom? Since the SCCP began its work in 2005 a significant gap was identified for locally developed, relevant education resources that took a bioregional approach to species and ecological communities at risk ("SEAR"). The program focus is Grades K-7 and was developed by Olivia Carnrite an educator from School District #35, (Langley). The beautiful evocative illustrations were done by local First Nation artist Carrielynn Victor.


Some of the key issues that have shaped and informed the development of SARitc are:

  • Increasing disconnect of youth from the natural world (“Nature Deficit Disorder”)
  • Lack of available tools and resources to BC educators on local endangered species that linked to curriculum requirements.
  • No rules or guidelines within formal education system over use of live animals for curriculum.
  • Many schools have complementary programs (e.g. Salmonids in the Classroom) but not a specific focus on biodiversity or species and ecological communities at risk.
  • Connections to local conservation, greening and restoration efforts (Streamkeepers or naturalist groups), invasive plant management programs already exist. SARitc is a way to link these activities to a broader multi-species conservation perspective.


The Guidebook is a synopsis providing a high level overview on:

    -Why species at risk are an issue on the South Coast

    -Legal and public efforts for SEAR conservation

    -Why and how everyone can become part of the conservation solution

    -First Nations perspectives (i.e. Stó:lō people and species at risk as part of                broader Coast Salish tradition and history)











Module 1 Amphibians and Reptiles is an accompanying curriculum activity guide focused on local endangered amphibians and reptiles including life history information, conservation issues, games and project activities. The module ends with how the content links to BC curriculum, further resources and references.






Module 2 Protecting Biodiversity is an accompanying curriculum activity guide focused on biodiversity by using local endangered species from mammals to snails to rare plants to connect the dots on conservation science for elementary-age learners. Each activity reflects the species life history information, conservation issues, games and project activities. The module ends with how the content links to BC curriculum, further resources and references.




Module 3 Discovering Ecological Communities at Risk in the South Coast Region of BC is an accompanying curriculum activity guide focused on endangered ecosystems of the South coast such as Coastal Sands Ecosystems, Coastal Douglas-fir and other forest communities and wetlands. Each activity reflects the ecolgoical connections, conservation issues, games and project activities. The module ends with how the content links to BC curriculum, further resources and references.



Endangered Species Storybooks for young and old alike! In addition to the Guidebook and Modules, the SCCP has commissioned the development of illustrated children's storybooks on species at risk. Also written by Olivia Carnrite they are delightfully illustrated by Carrielynn Victor from the village of Cheam, Pilalt Tribe, of the Stó:lō Nation (“people of the river”) in the Fraser Valley.



About the Lonely Frog: "The forest is unusually quiet this spring and Aurora, the Northern Red-legged Frog, is feeling lonely. She goes on an unforgettable adventure to find another Red-legged Frog meeting many strange creatures along the way. Will Aurora ever find a friend like her?"







About "There's no Place Like Home: "Boomer had things just the way he liked them. He’d worked hard to make his cozy underground burrow and he was finally finished. His elaborate home had several exits and special rooms for napping, feeding, storing food, and even an indoor bathroom! Sumas Mountain had everything a Mountain Beaver, like Boomer, could ever want; lots of clean, fresh water, and juicy plants to eat."






Spoiler alert - our stories have happy endings but the reality is this is not the case in the real world which is why early childhood education around conservation and nature is so critical. Want to purchase copies of these unique resources for your class or school library? Contact our partners at the Fraser Valley Conservancy to order your copies today!


There are also many other great resources available for educators and youth to learn about species at risk such as the Wilderness Committee's secondary school curriculum CONSERVATION IN ACTION: An Educator's Guide to Species at Risk in BC for Grades 8-12. An environmental education focus also wouldn't be complete without looking at invasive species in BC: Check out the Invasive Species Council of BC's website for classroom and teacher resources.


For science educators the BC Science Teacher's Association has loads of curriculum resources including ones developed to meet the new BC Provincial curriculum on science and environment. In the US there is the BSCS (Biological Sciences Curriculum Study), a non-profit curriculum study committed to transforming science teaching and learning. BC has its very own ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATORS’ PROVINCIAL SPECIALIST ASSOCIATION focused on promoting greater awareness, understanding and appreciation of the environment and nurture skills in teachers to use Place-Based Education. Other international resources include Green Teacher, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping educators, both inside and outside of schools, promote environmental awareness among young people aged 6-19.

Interested in some local expertise and after school programs focused on the marine environment? Check out Sea Smart School with marine ecologist Dr. Elaine Leung. For those in the Fraser Valley the Langley Environmental Partners Society has extensive programs for educators and youth. The Habitat Acquisition Trust has some great resources and activities for kids, check out their publications page.


Looking for financial assistance to help you make Species At Risk in the Classroom a reality for your school or organization? Check out the "Go Grant" available from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. As well, the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation has a fund to help get your habitat restoration project off the ground!


The SCCP would like to thank the following SARitc partners and participating schools: Telus World of Science, Beaty Biodiversity Museum, Eagle Mountain Middle School, Millar Park Elementary, Clayburn Elementary, Meadowridge School, Albion Elementary, Beach Grove Elementary, Bradner Elementary.


All SARitc content and images copyright the South Coast Conservation Program 2021 and may not be used without express consent of the SCCP.

Funding for the SCCP's multi-year project "Species at Risk in the Classroom, from Concept to Action" was graciously provided through the Vancouver Foundation and the Tula Foundation. Original funding (2012) for the modules and storybooks provided by the Federal Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk.





Outcomes from the 2015 Environmental Educators Pro-D Day Workshop
The Stewards of the Future program stems from the Lieutenant Governor’s long-standing connection to the land and the importance of biodiversity. Its purpose is to promote the concept of a holistic approach to our endeavors based on respect, relationships and the responsibility of all for the future.
These colouring sheets of a dragonfly, Great Blue Heron and Western Painted Turtle were developed by Ducks Unlimited and are great for kids. Parents and teachers can work with their children to cut out and put the completed critters together to form a 3D pop-up!
A great bookmark template created for the former BC Wetlands Society and Urban Salmon Habitat Program