Distance Learning

Distance Teaching Resources for Teachers and Parents

Filoli's Newt and Banana Slug Activities are NGSS standard aligned. These activities are meant for 2-5 graders and are a great way for teachers and parents alike to get their kids to learn and have fun. Try some of the lesson plans below!

Newt Explorations

Newt Explorations

Have you ever been to Filoli’s Nature Preserve on a field trip or guided hike with your family? If so, you may have seen a very special creature called a newt! There are many newts living in Filoli’s pond and creek habitats, and also in the redwood forest where they find homes in cool, moist places. Newts love to come out on the trails after it rains. Newts are amphibians, just like frogs and salamanders. The word amphibian means “to live a double life”. This refers to the newt’s ability to live both in water and on land. Newts breathe underwater with gills in the early stages of life. They develop lungs as the newt matures into an adult. This ability is a protective adaptation for their survival.

NGSS Standards

  • LS1.A: Structure and Function
  • LS1.D: Information Processing
  • LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • LS4.C: Adaptations

Driving Question for This Lesson:

  • Primary: What are the adaptations that help a newt avoid or survive attacks from predators?
  • Secondary: Why does the shape of a newt’s tail help to protect it? What are the benefits of the shape of the newt’s tail while on land and in the water?

Download the full lesson plan

IMG 5087

Exploring the World of Banana Slugs

Exploring the World of Banana Slugs

Have you been to Filoli to hike on a school field trip or with your family? If so, perhaps you had the chance to see banana slugs up close! They are very interesting creatures that we find here at Filoli in our redwood forests, creek and pond habitats, and in other shady, damp areas of the Nature Preserve. A great time to look for banana slugs is after it rains because moisture creates the perfect environment for them to be active.

NGSS Standards

  • LS1.A: Structure and Function
  • LS1.D: Information Processing
  • LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • LS4.C: Adaptations

Driving Question for This Lesson:

  • Primary: How does slime help a banana slug thrive in the redwood forest?
  • Secondary: What type of conditions does a banana slug need to live in so it can survive? What body parts/characteristics does a banana slug have that helps it to stay safe?

Download the full lesson plan

Banana slug in the garden.