Engaging Youth

We help the next generation learn the value of dead trees to habitats.

See our free downloadable resources  for teachers (organized by grade level), that can be used in the classroom.


Teacher’s Loaner Kit for Grades 3-5

Elementary grade teachers and home school teachers within Orange County, CA can customize and deliver a program to their students by borrowing a free loaner kit.  The program is aligned with Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards for grades 3-5 and is also beneficial for EL students.  A preview of Lesson Plans are available upon request from Marilyn Walter (contact below).
Kits are loaned out for two weeks and can be reserved by contacting Marilyn Walter at coyotegita@cox.net.

karen-gauthierHere’s what Karen Gauthier, a nationally board certified teacher, and Orange County’s 2014 Teacher of the Year had to say about our loaner kit:

“The Wonderful Life of a Dying Tree is a valuable asset to classroom teachers. The material is thought provoking and encourages learners to construct explanations and design solution to a real world problem. Engaging lesson, along with hands-on materials, create motivation and enthusiasm for learning. It is organized in a manner that would allow an educator to start teaching the unit right away with minimal preparation.”


Valued at over $2,000, this kit contains bird taxidermy, a powerpoint, bird skulls, reading books, posters, illustrative wood samples and a bounty of engaging student materials that include use of language arts, math and art, and a charming song for kids to learn. But that’s not all. Fun materials and resources for a field trip are included.





Earn an Embroidered Patch from Our Mascot, Mr. Edison


We proudly name him after the Southern California Edison Company which funded him. Any youngster who studies a dead or dying tree can earn this delightful iron-on, embroidered patch. Here’s how:

Email written observations, sketches and/or photos to:



To receive a patch, please be sure to include your full name and mailing address!

To purchase patches please go to our Nature Store.

Special Events

We participate in a number of community events throughout the year to engage youngsters in learning about habitat for cavity nesting birds and to better understand their environmental footprint. Our unique collection of games and interactive tools are fun for kids and make information memorable.

Children learning about trees at environmental event
children learning about the enviironment

Other Opportunities for Students

Students are offered opportunities to develop field study and data collection skills, to present programs to the public, design unique teaching tools, to plan special projects, to monitor nest boxes and and to learn about the habitat needs of cavity nesting birds.

Here’s what Lexy had to say about her work with us:
“During this internship I learned about the amazing ecology of a snag. The internship gave me valuable experience in public program directing and opened me up to the world of dead trees that I didn’t know existed. Gillian knows so much about the snags and the numerous creatures that live in them. She effectively shares that knowledge and passion with the people she comes in contact with. I have not only gained a wealth of knowledge, but also a friend.”

Here’s Lexy’s recording of our unique song, “This Old Tree.”

Download a PDF with the words to This Old Tree.

child learning about birds

Desi Sieburth from California carved a replica of a woodpecker cavity!


He’s using it with his own power point to deliver our message!


Grades 3-5

To Box or Not to Box, Critical Thinking Activity (PDF, 280 KB)
Dead Trees Help Wildlife Crossword (Grades 4 & 5) Original and Answers (PDF, 190 KB)
Dead Trees Help Wildlife (Grades 4 & 5) Answers (PDF, 210 KB)
Write A Diamante Poem About These Beetles (PDF, 310 KB)
Write A Last Will And Testament For A Dying Tree (53 KB)
Wildlife Tree Word Search (PDF, 490 KB) and Solutions for Wildlife Tree Word Search (PDF, 120 KB)
Woodpecker Poem / Activity Sheet (Word DOCX, 1.8 MB)
Natural and Artificial Cavities Help Cavity-Nesting Birds (PDF, 610 KB)
Birds Help with Insect Management (PDF, 290 KB)
Habitat Hunters for Woodpeckers (PDF, 390 KB)
Create a Poster of the Hidden Life of a Dying Tree (PDF, 520 KB)
Tree Products/Activity Sheet For Children (Word DOCX, 500 KB)
Fungi and Wildlife Relationships Illustration (PDF, 710 KB)
Competition Compensation Consequences (PDF, 470 KB)
House Hunters for Tree Swallows (PDF, 320 KB)

Grades 6-8

Dead Trees Help Wildlife Crossword G 6-7 (PDF, 150 KB) and answers
Dead Trees Help Wildlife Crossword Answers G 6-7 (PDF, 180 KB)
Dead Trees Help Wildlife Crossword (Grades 8+) (PDF, 240 KB) and answers Dead Trees Help Wildlife Crossword Answers (Grades 8+) (PDF, 170 KB)
The Value of Fire to Healthy Ecosystems Activity (PDF, 330 KB)
Raising the Curtain on Wildfire
Why Do Birds Matter? Activity Sheet (PDF, 300 KB)
To Box or Not To Box (PDF, 280 KB)
Be a Nature Journalist (PDF, 460 KB)
Scientists Wonder Why (PDF, 170 KB)
What if? (PDF, 530 KB)
Fungi and Wildlife Relationships Illustration PDF, (710 KB)
Write a Diamante Poem about these Beetles (PDF, 310 KB)
Finish the Picture ( Drawing Series) (PDF, 750 KB)
How to Draw a Woodpecker (Word DOCX, 310 KB)
Competition Compensation Consequences (PDF, 470 KB)

Materials and Activities for Youth Related to Woodpeckers

Finish The Picture ( Drawing Series) (PDF, 750 KB)
Scientists Wonder Why (PDF, 170 KB)
Be a Nature Journalist (Word DOCX, 1.8 MB)
Design a Woodpecker Postage Stamp (Word DOCX, 15 KB)
Word Search Woodpeckers (PDF, 210 KB)
Habitat Hunters for Woodpeckers (PDF, 390 KB)
Woodpecker Poem / Activity Sheet for Children (Word DOCX, 1.8 MB)
What I Learned about Woodpeckers / Activity Sheet (Word DOCX, 93 KB)
How to Draw a Woodpecker (Word DOCX, 310 KB)
Woodpecker Paper Craft Toy (Word DOCX, 370 KB)

Field Trip Materials

Illustration Teaching Chart for Field Trip (PDF, 3.1 MB)
Dead Trees Talk Walk for Caspers Park (PDF, 3.6 MB)
Dead Trees Talk Walk for O’Neill Park (PDF, 3.5 MB)
Habitat Review of Park (PDF, 1 MB)
What Birds Did We Find in the Park (PDF, 840 KB)
Dead Trees and Downed Wood Observations (PDF, 190 KB)
Journalist for Park Field Trip (PDF, 90 KB)
Snag Inventory Spread Sheets for Student Field Study (Excel XLSX, 14 KB)

Books and Publications for Youth

A Log’s Life by Wendy Pfeffer
Around One Log by Anthony D. Fredericks
A Grand Old Tree by Mary Newell Depalma
One Small Place In a Tree by Barbara Brenner
The Tree In The Ancient Forest by Carol Reed-Jones
Swallows In The Birdhouse by Stephen R. Swinburne
Woodpecker Wham by April Pulley Sayre

Free Ideas for Earth-Friendly Educators

If you’d like to help us design and post more of these great teaching tools, please consider making a donation by clicking the PayPal button below” We are a 501 (c)(3) organization, so your donation is likely tax-deductible. Consult your tax advisor. We greatly appreciate your support.

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