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Educator Guide

City Nature Challenge presents a fun opportunity to engage students in STEM-based learning, where educators play a pivotal role in bringing awareness to biodiversity conservation. With technology becoming increasingly available, students can access iNaturalist data online and make simple observations using their phone or tablet. 

This Toolkit includes a range of resources guides for integrating iNaturalist and the City Nature Challenge into the classroom. Short indoor and outdoor activities are available for all ages. 

Extracurricular clubs, community service hours, and outdoor classrooms are all great ways to bring CNC to your school. 

Gardening Lesson
Field Trip

Activities For all Ages

Observe living things in the school yard. Compare observations among different spots in the school yard. Design investigations to answer student or teacher created questions.

Classify and differentiate major groups of plants and animals. Compare observations of species among different areas in the school yard or outdoor space. Design investigations to explore student- and instructor- driven questions.

Identify the characteristics of major groups of organisms on earth and discuss global biodiversity. Build observation, identification, and classification skills. Apply these skills by creating a field guide. Explore CNC results through data analysis.


Students will explore​ how the public can participate in the scientific process through citizen science. Students will explore​ the features of iNat and identify​ local taxa. Students will address misconceptions ​about science and who can “do” science. 


Prompt students to explore why it is important to measure biodiversity in cities and how all can contribute to this effort. Use iNat to observe and identify, gearing toward research grade data. Practice data analysis and visualization skills.

Participants will become aware that biodiversity exists and matters, not only in the wild but also in cities. Help equip them with necessary skills to conduct a BioBlitz using iNat. Reinforce discoveries with the creation of a physical, communicative output.

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