This is an educational program about vernal pools designed for
4th- and 5th-grade classes. The new and expanded Version 3 has
thirteen lessons and an optional field trip. This program is
being used by numerous Sacramento County school districts. Field
trips and the Critter Catalog & Flower Facts focus on the
Mather Field vernal pools in eastern Sacramento County.
All lessons linked below are in PDF format. You need Adobe
Acrobat Reader to view and print the files. Low Res files are for
on-screen review – use the High Res files for printing.
Instructions for downloading the entire Teacher’s Manual are at
the bottom of the page.
Lesson Three: Vernal Pool Phases and
Introduction to Critters
The Wet Phase: Winter in the Vernal Pools
The Flower Phase: Spring in the Vernal Pools
The Dry Phase: Summer and Fall
The Three Phases of a Vernal Pool
Vernal Pool Cross-Section Worksheet
Vernal Pool Phases Worksheet
The lesson pages and worksheets from the Teacher’s Manual can be
made into transparencies for use in class discussion. Using a
color transparency in the classroom while distributing
black-and-white versions for individual student use is an
economic way to share the handouts. Worksheets can be made into
black-and-white transparencies to be completed as a class
The Critter Catalog & Flower Facts are
available on the website under Vernal Pool Plants and Vernal Pool Animals. High-resolution
printer-friendly PDF versions are also available for those who
may wish to compile the fact sheets into a loose leaf binder. We
recommend that these be laminated so that the students can take
them into the field.
The ten minute introductory video for the Life in Our
Watershed: Investigating Vernal Pools is available on the
and Flower Activity Cards(2.6 MB) 4″ by 3-1/4″ cards can be used
for a variety of match and recognition games. They are also great
references for use during field trips, especially if you can
laminate the pages.
Wet Phase and
Flower Phase Scavenger Hunts (800 Kb)
Scavenger hunt worksheets that can be used during field trips to
Flower Power Notes
Lesson Nine extension which allows students to give commercials
about the flowers and take notes about the other
Download the Entire
PDF files of the entire educational program are available for
download. Note that these files are very large and download times
may be up to an hour each depending upon your connection. To
download the files using your web browser, right click (or option
click) on the links below and select “save target as…”
In this entertaining ten-minute video, Professor X. Plorer
introduces viewers to the many wonders of vernal pools. The video
should be shown in the classroom to help orient students before
they dive into the Splash Elementary Curriculum.
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and continue serving 80+ classes of 4th/5th graders every year.
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today.
Splash is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Tax ID #41-2160618.
Mr. Toad was dropped off at an area pet shop after having been in
captivity for many years. When wild animals are kept in captivity
for so long, they often lose their ability to survive in the
wild, so Mr. Toad found a permanent home at Splash…