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…

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…

Less is More

Our Earth is home to over six and a half billion people and millions of species of plants and animals. All living things have the same basic needs for survival; food, water, shelter and space. Earth provides all of the materials to meet our needs through natural resources. Natural resources are sources of life, materials, … Read more…

Grow As We Go

Use Growing Up WILD’s “Grow As We Go” to explore the life cycle of frogs. Use the life cycle cards in the back of the book or share photographs of the frog life cycle from books or the internet. Discuss frogs as a class: Ask children if they have ever seen a frog? A tadpole? … Read more…

School Gardens

Why a school garden? 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 and actions. School gardens … Read more…

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…

What is a “Sense of Place”?

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…

Looking at Leaves

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…

What’s Wild?

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…

Oh Deer!

A habitat is the place or “neighborhood” where an animal lives.  A suitable neighborhood must have food, water, shelter, and space in order to survive there. While each kind of animal has specific requirements for suitable types or amounts of these four things, all animals need all of them to survive. A habitat can exist … Read more…

Fishing Fun!

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 fishing in the classroom.  Create paper or cardboard fish. Cut fish … Read more…

Animal Mothers and Babies

Mother’s Day was last weekend and spring is a wonderful time of year to celebrate mothers! During spring nature is bursting with new life. Animal mothers and babies can be found in field, forest, and stream. Let’s explore animal mothers and babies in celebration of mothers this week! In the classroom, ask children if they … Read more…

Wiggling Worms!

Explore the fascinating world of worms! “Earthworm” is a general term used to describe many different species of worms that live in the soil.  While they do not have an obvious head or tail you can identify the head by which way the worm crawls.  And did you know that worms absorb oxygen through their … Read more…

Show Me the Energy!

Ask children if they have eaten any sunshine today.  You’ll probably get giggles and “no’s”.  Share various food items, such as apples, whole-grain bagels and orange juice with your children.  As they are enjoying this snack, let them know that the food we eat contains energy that helps our bodies move, grow, and live. This … Read more…