significant value in letting nature be our educator. Whenever I would take my students outside, new questions, observations and connections would arise. This led me to be flexible in my lessons and let the students’ inquiries shape our learning. Trees have always been a subject of interest for me, so when I noticed my class sharing the same passion, I knew that I had to act on it. It was time to center ourselves around the significance of the trees and the stories they have to tell. My class and I journeyed outside most days with the sole purpose to learn and develop a deeper meaning of the natural world. Thus, we became tree detectives, seeking to answer an essential question: What can I learn from the trees? Continue reading What can we learn from the trees?
For me, my love of tea cakes began as an homage to my grandmother. I still see her rolling the dough and cutting the tea cakes with a glass jar, while I wait for them to come out of the oven. Tea cakes were what we had to connect us to our family, our community, and our past. My sisters and I in the mid 1980s decided to open a restaurant without really knowing what we were doing. We served soul food and one of the things we served was a tea cake. Tea cakes were always around in my life. I realized so many of my family members made tea cakes but they made them at home. We never had them in restaurants, but they were always around. So we decided to bring them into the restaurant. When the restaurant closed, I found someone who would convert my recipe into one that could be produced at a larger scale. Over time, my calling has become to elevate the tea cake to its rightful place as a cultural touchstone and pay homage to our ancestors. The tea cake was a way to still savor life and have something sweet even when things were hard. Continue reading Black History is every day
Geographic Certified Educators to give us their favorite outdoor activities and teaching resources. In addition to this awesome library of outdoor lessons, materials, and partner activities, here are seven ways our certified educators get their classes outside. Continue reading 7 Ways to Take Learning Outdoors
Seeking knowledge and preparedness (my way of controlling what I could about venturing into the wild), I spent the months leading up to our tour of National Parks in the American West intently reading books and articles and watching documentaries about history, flora, fauna, and wildlife in the parks. I prepared but also braced myself for unpredictable experiences such as a grizzly bear encounter. Continue reading Finding Peace in the Wild as Educators and Bringing the Wild to Our Students
This past school year we focused our attention on how birding is an activity that can help city-dwellers experience urban forests as places for practicing stillness in nature, while also allowing an opportunity to appreciate urban biodiversity we may not typically notice. Continue reading How movements like #BlackBirdersWeek can help students see themselves as environmentalists