Introduce your students & youth to the world of vernal pools!

Explore the following resources for ways to incorporate vernal pool ecology & field work into your classroom, home, or community. 

Photo by Brandon Schroeder

Introduction to Vernal Pools for Educators

Check out the Center for Great Lakes Literacy module to vernal pools! Intended to help teachers explore Great Lakes topics with their students, the Great Lakes Literacy Education Exploration module on vernal pools is a 2-3 hour asynchronous course on Google sites that provides an introductory collection of resources and partners to get you started. 

Visit here:  

Activities to Try With Kids

BeLEAF It or Not! Explore vernal pools and their resident critters with Michigan State University Extension's, Georgia Peterson & Bill Cook. Learn why vernal pools are important, creatures you might find, and get outside to look for a vernal pool in your area!

Pour-a-Pond Activity (K-12)

Discover vernal pools amazing biodiversity of invertebrate species with this hands-on activity. The attached handouts provide equipment list, set up and collection instructions, teaching procedure, and invertebrate identification sheet. Developed by Tom Hodgson, this activity is a low-tech method of introducing the public to pools without getting too wet! Has been used in schools, camps, nature centers, and even universities. 


Go Wild for Michigan's Wildlife

Developed by the Michigan DNR (adapted from the Council for Environmental Education’s Project WILD K-12 Curriculum and Activity Guide lesson Wildlife is Everywhere!), students will search their surroundings inside and outside for signs of wildlife and habitat in this one hour activity.


Monitor a Vernal Pool

Get involved in the Vernal Pool Patrol, a community science program that provides training on how to survey and collect data on vernal pools across the state of Michigan. This statewide program is for community scientists and educators who want to learn more about these fascinating wetlands, participate in science and conservation, and enjoy spending time outside in nature!

For an overview of what it looks like to engage students or youth groups in monitoring a vernal pool, preview this handout. For questions or more information, please reach out to! 


Purchase an Introductory Ecology Game for Students

View these games for purchase that our vernal pool educators have used to introduce ecology principles to their students!