Using Creeks to Bring Science Lessons to Life!

Creeks naturally attract children of all ages. They are just about the right size body of water for easy exploration. With flowing water, wooded banks, a variety of wildlife – combined with a ready-made fascination – local creeks are an ideal resource for teaching science concepts.

Using creeks as outdoor classrooms provides concrete associations between students and their natural world. Understanding how human activities alter our environment in positive and negative ways allows students to become informed participants in their own futures. According to the State of California Department of Education, “research shows that environment-based education improves students’ academic performance and test scores, reduces discipline and attendance problems, and increases their ability to transfer knowledge to new contexts.”

Dipping Into Creeks is a packet of materials designed to provide the information and tools a teacher or youth leader needs to teach science concepts using creeks and creek habitat. The curriculum is full of projects and activities for grades 1-8, and correlates with the State of California Education Standards. Nature, science, biology, physical sciences, land use, ecology, conservation and natural resources are covered. Each packet includes:

Download Dipping Into Creeks pdf and Dipping Into Creeks Table of Contents.                                     The Dipping Into Creeks curriculum is also available at or 916 454-4544. The cost is $20.00. Add $5.00 for shipping and handling.

Creek Life & Creek Ecology – A Quick Guide presents the most common aquatic life and creekside residents that make up a typical Central Valley creek community. Line drawings accompany descriptions of plants and animals. This 60 page Quick Guide is available at or 916 454-4544. The cost is $5.50. Add $.50 for shipping and handling. Download Creek Life & Creek Ecology – A Quick Guide

Dip Kits contain the equipment necessary for engaging the students in the learning activities presented in “Dipping Into Creeks.” Kits may be borrowed by contacting SACC at 916-454-4544 or

The kits contain dip nets and buckets for collecting; hand magnifiers and viewing pans for observing small aquatic life; rulers, string, clipboards and pencils for measuring, calculating and recording observations; books and reference material; and more.

There is a $20.00 fee for use of the kit. A $100.00 deposit will be returned when the kit is brought back and all supplies are checked in. Dip Kit contents

Creek Week Mini-Grant for Art/Science Mentoring Projects Sacramento Schools – Teacher information Creek Map Dipping Into Creeks Creek Life – A Quick Guide More information on our Mini Grants Page.

In Sacramento, the Effie Yeaw Nature Center will be happy to offer a program for your classroom. You may contact them at 489-4918. There is a program fee.


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