4-H School Enrichment - Elementary


Virtual or In-Person Options!

Dear Administrators and Teachers,

School Enrichment programs are a cooperative effort between schools, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and Nebraska Extension, which complement the educational goals of all organizations. The materials used in 4-H are based on research and produced by specialists from the University of Nebraska, National 4-H, and various universities and organizations throughout the United States. The lessons use the Experiential Learning Model: Do, Reflect, and Apply to develop critical life skills.

4-H School Enrichment resources include teacher guides, student manuals, DVDs, teaching kits, and staff presentations. All lessons are FREE, unless otherwise designated!

If you have any specific topics or areas that you would like resources on please let's have a conversation! Especially in the areas of College & Career Readiness, STEM, Entrepreneurship, and Leadership.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call or email. We hope these programs will enhance your existing curriculum and you will take advantage of these programmatic opportunities. We look forward to working with you.

Table of Contents

STE(A)M - Science, Technology, Engineering, (Art), Math

  • Galactic Quest
  • Mars Base Camp
  • Game Changers
  • Discover Your Computer Code
  • Rockets to the Rescue
  • Power of Wind
  • Farm Web
  • Embryology
  • Hot House Detective
  • Pumpkin Life Cycle
  • Positively Popcorn
  • Our World
Personal Development & Leadership
  • Read for Resilience
  • Bully Dance
  • On Your Own & Okay
  • Health Rocks!
  • Leadership Summit

College and Career Readiness & Financial Literacy

  • Leap into Careers!
  • Making Cents of It
  • Money Makes Cents
  • Discover Your Future


  • TEC Box
Target Audience Programs
  • Get Fit with 4-H

What is 4-H?

4-H is the premier youth development program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Originating in the early 1900’s as “four-square education,” the 4-H’s (head-heart-hands-health) seek to promote positive youth development, facilitate learning, and engage youth in the work of their community through the Extension Service to enhance the quality of life. For more than a hundred years, 4-H has been dedicated to creating research based learning opportunities for youth that broaden skill sand aspirations nurturing the full potential of youth.

STE(A)M - Science, Technology, Engineering, (Art), Math

Galactic Quest

Suggested grade levels: 3rd-8th

Sessions: Four, 30-45 minute sessions

Galactic Quest explores the history of humans in space, the technology and resources needed for missions, and the obstacles humans encounter in orbit. Activities explore important STEM topics ranging from physics and engineering to computer science and space agriculture.

Challenge Activities:

Astro Adventure
This unplugged board game promotes teamwork as kids gather the resources needed to live and work in deep space.

Stellar Optics
In this offline activity, kids build a telescope and learn about physics and light and how telescopes have been used to explore space.

Cosmic Claw
Kids work hands-on to engineer a mechanical arm that works to harvest crops in space.

Cyber Satellite
In this computer science activity, kids learn about cyber security and decoding to stay safe from obstacles in orbit.

Mars Base Camp

Suggested grade levels: 3rd-8th

Sessions: Four, 30-45 minute sessions

The race to land humans on Mars is on! The 2020 4‑H STEM Challenge will explore sending a mission to Mars with the activity, Mars Base Camp. Developed by Google and Virginia Cooperative Extension, Mars Base Camp is a collection of activities that teaches kids ages 8-14 STEM skills like mechanical engineering, physics, computer science, and agriculture.

Supported by national partners—Bayer, Toyota, and U.S. Air Force—Mars Base Camp is the perfect topic to empower young people to explore a wide range of subject areas in an exciting thematic package, one that allows kids to think about the same problems that today’s top scientists and engineers are working on right now.

Featuring four hands-on activities that can be enjoyed with or without internet access and individually or all together, the challenge teaches kids STEM skills like mechanical engineering, physics, computer science and agriculture.

Game Changers

Suggested grade levels: 4th-8th

Sessions: Three, 30-45 minute sessions

Game Changers is a collection of three activities that teaches kids computer science (CS) skills through game play, puzzles and animation all centered around topics they care passionately about. Developed by Google, 4-H, and West Virginia University Extension Service, it includes a computer-based activity on Google’s CS First platform and two unplugged activities that can be done all at once or individually.

Discover Your Computer Code

Suggested grade levels: 2nd-12th

Sessions: Two-Three, 30-45 minute sessions

Depending on your grade level, we have a variety of computer and unplugged lessons to help develop and fully an understanding and working knowledge of the computer coding world that touches our everyday life. We hope to be able to build on instruction learned in previous lessons and explore lots of different avenues to help youth find their niche.

Rockets to the Rescue

Suggested grade levels: 4th+

Sessions: Three, 30-45 minute sessions

Rockets to the Rescue is an engaging activity that gives young scientists an opportunity to let their imagination take flight and explore how aerospace engineering addresses real world problems, such as delivering food and supplies in emergency situations. Participants will apply lessons in science, math and physics to design and build an aerodynamic Food Transportation Device (FTD) that can deliver a payload to a desired target using different trajectories.

The Power of the Wind

Suggested grade level: 5th—8th

Sessions: Two-Three, 45-60 minute sessions

Are you looking for something to spark engineering and science interest among middle school kids? The activities in The Power of the Wind curriculum involve young people in the engineering design process as they learn about the wind and its uses. Youth work with members of a team to design, create, build, and test a wind powered device.

The device must solve a problem and requires the designers to balance options and constraints. Participants are guided to make adjustments and retest until the vehicle or machine solves the original problem.

Farm Web

Suggested grade level: K-3rd

Sessions: 30-45 minute sessions

Agriculture provides for our daily needs; food, clothing and shelter as well as farmers growing plants and raising animals that are used for fuel and fiber. In this curriculum, students will explore the role of agriculture in their daily lives and understand how most of the necessities of life can be traced back to the farm. Students will engage in a real-life scenario where they will put their heads together to make a pictorial chart.


(Spring Semester)

Suggested grade level: K+

Sessions: Three, 30-45 minute sessions

4-H Embryology teaches students about science and respect for life. Students hatch chicks in the classroom and witness the exciting miracle of life. Students take the responsibilities of caring for the fertilized eggs and then the chicks after they have hatched. Following each session, the hatched birds are given to local farmers.

Hot House Detective

Suggested grade level: K-4th

Sessions: Three, 30-45 minutes

Youth will learn about the process of germination by creating a seed necklace and learning about the parts of the seed.

Pumpkin Life Cycle

Suggested grade level: K-4th

Sessions: Three, 30-45 minutes

Students will learn the concept of a life cycle by recreating the various stages of growth and development of a pumpkin through a hands on activity. Learning about life cycles will help in understanding the many elements of agriculture.

Positively Popcorn

Suggested grade level: K-4th

Sessions: Three, 30-45 minutes

This lesson is a hands on activity on the process of how popcorn pops using gas as a form of matter. Youth will use science to learn the importance of agriculture and how popcorn goes from a seed to a snack.

Our World

Suggested grade level: K-4th

Sessions: Three, 30-45 minutes

Students will learn how our worlds natural resources are divided up and what we actually have at our finger tips to help us survive.

Personal Development & Leadership

Read for Resilience

Suggested grade level: K-2nd

Sessions: Each session is about 30-45 minutes. The program is designed to be taught in a customized format for whatever your class may need.

We play an important role in young children’s emotional development in addition to helping them cope. Using children’s literature in an interactive way, we can help children heal. Using an engaging format, Read for Resilience may help children better understand their experiences and improve their coping skills.

Lessons include the books:

  • What is Coronavirus? (physical distancing)
  • A Terrible Thing Happened (emotions)
  • Becoming a Super Hero: A Book for Children Who Have Experience Trauma (feelings)
  • Bubble Trouble: Using Mindfulness to Help Kids with Grief (loss & grief)
  • Everybody Needs a Buddy (caring for others)
  • Giraffes Can't Dance (unique strengths)
  • How is Daniel Feeling? (identify feelings)
  • "I Have a Little Problem," said the Bear (frustration)
  • I'm Here (community, empathy, and kindness)
  • My Heart Fills with Happiness (celebrating what makes you happy)
  • Once I was Very Very Scared (stress)
  • Owl Babies (separation anxiety)
  • Saturday (adapting to changes)
  • Say Something! (voice, creative, and courage)
  • Swimmy (teamwork)
  • The Big Umbrella (kindness, hospitality, inclusivity, and acceptance)
  • The Goodbye Book (saying goodbye emotions)
  • The Good Egg (acceptance and self-care)
  • The Invisible String (sadness, anxiety, loss, or grief)
  • The Tenth Good Thing about Barney (loss of a pet)
  • The Way I Feel (connecting emotions and their meanings)
  • Wemberly Worried (worry and anxiety)
  • What Color is Your Day (connecting feelings to colors)

Bully Dance

Suggested grade level: 2nd—4th

Sessions: One, 45 minute session

Bully Dance is a DVD program that deals with conflict resolution. This DVD shows a bullying situation; where no one stops the dance until serious harm is done. It compels viewers to take stock of their actions and find ways to end peer abuse. The purpose of this program is to provide a starting point to address bullying in your class, the playground, and the school community. There are numerous lessons provided.

On Your Own & Okay

Suggested grade levels: 3rd—4th

Sessions: Three, 30-45 minute sessions

About 90% of third graders indicate that they are being left home alone for at least 20 minutes during a typical week. This class will cover a series of lessons about what to do when you are left home alone. Handouts supplement the topics. Topics include:

· Are You Ready?: Youth Assessment, family rules

· Who’s There?: Communication safety tips

· Where To?: Walking to/from school, emergency numbers

· Be Prepared: First aid youth assessment, home hazards

· Snack Attack: Kitchen safety, recipes for snacks

Health Rocks!

Suggested grade level: 2nd—8th

Sessions: Each session is about 30-45 minutes. The program is designed to be taught in full but individual lessons can be utilized individually

Health Rocks! is a curricula for a healthy living program where youth participate in hands-on activities that educate them on the consequences of tobacco, alcohol, and drug use. The program aims to:

· Reduce youth smoking and tobacco use.

· Help youth build life skills that lead to healthy lifestyle choices with special emphasis on youth smoking and tobacco use prevention.

· Help youth understand influences and health consequences of tobacco, drug, and alcohol use to make healthy choices.

· Engage youth and adults in partnership to develop and implement community strategies that promote healthy lifestyle choices.

· Build positive, enduring relationships with youth involved as full partners through widely varying “communities of interest” to address youth risk behaviors.

Leadership Summit

Suggested grade levels: 5th-8th

Sessions: Three-Five, 45 minute sessions OR full day event

At a critical time when early middle school students choose to take the wrong “trail” in life, help prepare them to be tomorrow’s leaders and role models through Leadership Summit! Middle school youth will see the world from a new perspective and learn to be more effective leaders as well as team members after participating in this program. Leadership discovery and personality trait assessment sessions followed by engaging interactive leadership development activities will build knowledge of interpersonal and teamwork skills.

College and Career Readiness & Financial Literacy

LEAP Into Careers

Suggested grade level: K-4th

Sessions: Two-Four, 30-45 minute sessions

It’s never too soon to encourage students to take the LEAP! The jungle they will face in the world of careers can be pretty overwhelming. How does one decide at 8, 9, 10, or even 18 what career will be a good fit? How does one prepare for a future in which many professions aren’t even a twinkle in somebody’s imagination? The best backpack of skills we can send with young learners is the thirst for knowledge. In this information age. We can’t hope to teach them everything they’ll need to know for a future career. They’ll need to continue to learn over their entire lifetime. The LEAP curriculum was developed to help youth understand various career opportunities in the Nebraska Career Education Career Fields and Clusters. Students design a Learning Experiences Action Plan (LEAP). They’ll create a road map to follow that will help them take full advantage of the many learning opportunities along the path to employment.

Making Cents of It

Suggested grade levels: 2nd—3rd

Sessions: Three, 45 minute sessions

You’re never too young to start learning how to spend and save money. This program will help students learn more about money through listening to stories and doing “hands-on” activities. Topics will include: history of money, wants and needs, savings, counting money and making change, and consumer sense.

Money Makes Cents

Suggested Grade Levels: 4th-8th

Sessions: Two-Five, 45 minute sessions

Adapted from the 4-H curriculum "Reading Makes Cents," students take a deeper dive into their financial understanding and education. The lessons engage youth with stories, hands-on activities, and practical application. We have a three year rotation of lessons to keep students engaged year after year. Topics covered are: History of Money, Managing Money, Earning Money, Spending & Saving Money, Supply & Demand, Bartering, SMART goals, and Checks & Consumer Sense.

Discover Your Future

Suggested grade level: 5th-8th

Sessions: Three, 45-60 minute sessions

Youth will discover their personal College and Career interests and aspirations. They discover careers, learn the college lingo, and develop their own SMART college goals.


TEC Box (Tinker. Explore. Create.)

Suggested grade level: 3rd-5th

Session: Four, 45 minute sessions

A makerspace program, where you will invent a new product and explore entrepreneurship.

Target Audience Programs

Get Fit with 4-H

Suggested grade level: 3rd

Sessions: 45-60 minute sessions

Get Fit with 4-H will provide easy to use tools and nutritional information that youth will be able to use on a daily basis. Youth will engage in physical activities, such as, walking, running, stretching, aerobics, and yoga. As well as, nutrition and healthy food preparation lessons. Get your 3rd grade class moving!

If you are interested in any of our programming or would like more information please contact us at Nebraska Extension in Thurston County, 402-385-6041, Jennifer E. Hansen, Extension Educator (jhansen6@unl.edu) or Stacey Keys, Extension Assistant (stacey.keys@unl.edu).
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4-H School Enrichment Purpose

The purpose of a 4-H school enrichment program is to:

· Encourage long-term involvement in 4-H for enhanced positive youth development.

· Enhance the relationship between 4-H and the school system (public or private).

· Provide non-formal education to complement formal education, leading to better educated youth.

· Enhance the subject matter area being studied.

· Foster and promote enthusiasm and support for participation in 4-H programs, events, and activities.

4-H School Enrichment Quality Standards

What does a quality experience look like?

· Delivered by 4-H staff, trained volunteers or teachers.

· A sequential and varied learning experience supporting the school curriculum.

· Youth are able to articulate that this is a 4-H sponsored project.

· An evaluation is completed by teachers and/or school participants.

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