Gardening and Local Foods

Why a school garden? Why garden? Eat local! School gardens provide hands-on learning in a wide variety of disciplines including science, math, language arts, and visual arts. Being involved in school gardens get children active, engaged, and teaches them important life skills such as responsibility. School gardens also positively influences students’ health and nutrition attitudes … Read more…

Animal Tracks

Winter is a great time to go looking for wildlife! Most animals like to hide and can be difficult to observe. Luckily, they often leave clues about themselves behind that we can find. One of the easiest clues to find are footprints or tracks. By finding and observing animal tracks you can learn a lot … Read more…

Wildlife as Symbols

The animal symbol is one of the most prevalent images in myths, traditions, and religious cultures worldwide. Many cultures through the ages have regarded specific animals as representing power, the supernatural, and a way to express ideas and feelings. Most countries also have wildlife incorporated as their national symbol. For example, the bald eagle is … Read more…

Let’s Talk Turkey

Thanksgiving is coming up, and as everyone knows we often refer to this day of giving thanks as “Turkey Day.” This year before “Turkey Day,” gather your students or children and talk about turkeys! Ask children if they have ever seen a turkey. Where was it? What did it look like? Talk about what turkeys … Read more…

We need seeds!

Fall is the perfect time of year to explore the wonder of plant seeds! Collect enough seeds from the same plant for each child – maple tree seeds or “whirligigs” are perfect if you have! Hand out one seed to each child and allow them to feel the seed and study it. Start your discussion … Read more…

Are you a wild animal?

It’s time to explore the difference between wild and domesticated animals! Animals that are wild are called wildlife. Wild animals are animals that take care of themselves without depending on people. This means that they get their food, water and everything they need to survive on their own from the environment. Domestic animals are animals … Read more…

Back to School with Nature

It is that time of year again – back to school time! As children are picking out new backpacks and sneakers, teachers are preparing themselves and their classrooms for another year filled with growing and learning. This year, as you are preparing your classroom, try to incorporate nature into the overall design and layout of … Read more…

Hop, hop, grasshopper

In a Grasshopper’s World For this activity you will explore the fascinating world of grasshoppers with young children! Grasshoppers are insects. They have six legs, two of which are long and muscular and used for hopping. Grasshoppers have three main body parts: head, thorax, and abdomen. They also have two antennae. Begin by asking children if … Read more…

Wildlife Water Safari

Take your children on a wildlife water safari this month! By definition, animals that are not tame or domesticated are considered wildlife. A habitat is the place or “neighborhood” where an animal lives.  A suitable neighborhood (habitat) must have food, water, shelter, and space in order for an animal to survive there. Prep your children … Read more…

Get Ready to go Fishing

Here fishy-fishy! Isn’t that how you catch a fish? Maybe not! Begin by asking children if they have ever gone fishing? Where did they go and what did they do? What do people use to catch fish?  Where do fish live? Have they ever eaten fish? Create a mock fishing lake for children to go … Read more…

First Impressions

How do you feel about bats? Do you find them scary or weird? What about spiders? Do they give you the “creepy crawlies?” People often have misconceptions about wildlife based on inaccurate stereotypes. While bats, spiders, and other “scary” wildlife may not be cute and cuddly, they are important contributors to healthy ecosystems. Scary doesn’t … Read more…

Grow As We Go

All living things grow and change in their lifetime.  Some animals, people included, start life looking the same as or very similar to adults. Other animals look very different from the adults when they are young and change significantly over the course of their lifetime. Frogs and butterflies are examples of animals that change, or … Read more…

Aqua Charades

Every molecule of water that was present when the Earth’s oceans were formed millions of years ago is still present today. That means the water you drink is the same water dinosaurs drank! All living things need water: plants, animals and people. Water is important to us for many purposes such as drinking, bathing and … Read more…

Backbone Bonanza

Animals with an internal skeleton made of bone are called vertebrates. There are over 85,000 vertebrate species, all classified into five groups: fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The defining characteristic of all vertebrates is the backbone. The backbone extends through the core of the body and allows a vertebrate to hold its shape. The … Read more…

Help develop a “sense of place” in others

A “sense of place” refers to a child’s connection with their community and natural environment. A sense of place is developed with a place-based education approach that fosters those connections. Place-based education immerses children in their local community, landscapes, heritage, and experiences. It is using the local natural and human world to learn science, social … Read more…

Wildlife is where? Wildlife is everywhere!

Help your children become wildlife scientists! Lead your students on a walk in the neighborhood around your school or building or a nearby park to look for wildlife. Tell your children that they are using their eyes and ears to watch and listen for any signs of animal life (animal movement, calls, tracks, tunnels, droppings, … Read more…

Fall Leaf Exploration

Fall is a great time to investigate leaves! They crunch underfoot and amaze us with their transforming colors. Leaves come in many different shapes, sizes and in the fall, colors! Begin by holding up a leaf and asking the children what it is and where it came from. Pass the leaf around and ask what … Read more…

Who lives in a tree?

Fall is a perfect time to explore where the squirrels and birds live within the tree branches.  Ask the children to describe their homes. What materials make up your house? What rooms do you have in your house? What do you do in your house? Where do you eat and sleep? Do you have a … Read more…

The ants go marching!

It’s time to explore the fascinating world of ants! Did you know there are more than 12,000 species of ants in the world? They live on almost every landmass on Earth except Antarctica and a few small islands. Ants live in complex social groups called colonies. They have a four stage life cycle consisting of … Read more…

Local Water Study

A healthy world ocean is critical to our survival, but you don’t have to live near a teaming ocean to show how important all water is for every living thing. Help your children get their feet wet on a local level with a pond study. When children use a hand lens or magnifying glass to … Read more…