Expanding and Deepening Naturalist Club Content

Expanding and Deepening Naturalist Club Content


At Primer, I had the opportunity to expand their Naturalists Club content and experiment with developing engaging learning experiences for children and young people.

Cassandra's Roles:

Content Writer and Facilitator

How We Began

I was hired by Primer to bring more depth and breadth into their existing Naturalists Club geared to children and young people ages 7 to 13. Primer is an EdTech start-up company with a mission to "free the next generation of kids to be more ambitions, more creative, and to think for themselves." Primer's original product was called Rooms which housed the Clubs. Rooms were 45-minute gamified educational activities.

Given my immersion in nature-based early learning and lifelong ease with integrating tech into learning environments, I was excited to bring all I had to the table. I primarily created content / curricula for the Naturalists Club and at times, I facilitated lessons within Naturalists Club and other Clubs on the platform.

Variety is the spice of life

What I love most about my time as a Content Writer and Facilitator with Primer was the constant variety we were offered as creators. Often during Content Team meetings, I learned that the more unique the idea, the better. I was encouraged to think out of the box I had often been put into as a curriculum designer in years past. I was encouraged to truly tap into what the Naturalists Club members wanted and needed.

I touched into informal chat spaces on the Rooms platform to see what the young people were curious about. What animals were they into? What kind of adventures did they go on with their families? What did they like to eat? Answering these questions continually led me to thoughtful, aligned ideas for Naturalists Club activities.

This role gave me the opportunity to deepen my experience with older children and young people. Prior to Primer, I was primarily working with children ages 3 to 6 and this position gave me deep experience with children and young people up to age 13. I pride myself in understanding the range of development and how skills naturally build on one another as a child grows.

Created Over 20 Room Activities

During my time at Primer, I created over 20 room activities including:

  • Weekly Narrative Mystery Rooms – These mystery rooms were focused on either an animal or plant. They always went very deep into the details of the mystery specimen, and were rooms that the young people who enjoyed going narrow and deep were very interested in taking part in.
  • Topic-based Citizen Science Rooms -- These ranged from innovative ways of getting plastic out of oceans to understanding nature psychology.
  • Around the World Rooms -- These rooms were centered on a specific topic, such as underwater wonders, and would take the young people around the world visiting each of the locations.
  • Instructional Educational Rooms – These rooms were focused on teaching a very specific topic within nature study, such as botany.
  • Readers Theater-style Rooms – Readers Theater is an excellent way of supporting literacy development! These rooms engaged a "whole child" approach to learning.
In reader’s theater, students “perform” by reading scripts created from grade-level books or stories. Usually they do so without costumes or props. Reader’s theater is a strategy that combines reading practice and performing. Its goal is to enhance students’ reading skills and confidence by having them practice reading with a purpose. Reader’s theater gives students a real reason to read aloud.
- Reading Rockets

Two Full Samples:

  1. What's a Sit Spot? Room
  2. Water for All Room

Here is: What's a Sit Spot?

What's a Sit Spot? was the first room I created for Primer. I share this sample so you can see the way the content was presented and you can see my progression and development from this first room to Water for All, which I created a few months before my contract was complete.

Guide for Facilitators

Here is Water for All:

Water for All is a Room activity developed to engage the young people's interest in activism and conservation while supporting their literacy development and math skills. I wrote this room in the last few months of my contract with Primer.

Read the full activity - you'll be routed to a viewable Google doc

Watch the video I created to introduce the Gratitude Game shared at the end of the activity - details can be read in the viewable Google doc


Gratitude Game introduction created by Cassandra

Thanks for visiting these creations!