Zana Pouncey, an educator at a botanical garden, asked students to step into the shoes of botanists studying the diversity of native plants in an ecosystem. Following methods used by the garden’s conservation team, students practiced identifying plants and conducted diversity surveys. Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Investigating Ecosystem Diversity
While on an expedition in southeast Alaska, I had the privilege of sharing the ship with several young naturalists. These enthusiastic participants in our expedition, ages 6-13, were especially passionate about identifying wildlife. I worked with them to observe, draw, and classify plankton captured with a small trawl net on one of our stops. In my own observations, I was also drawn to our shipboard Sibley’s Guide to Birds, an extraordinary resource for identifying various gulls, puffins, and other birds. Continue reading Strategy Share: Environmental Stewardship Through Field-Guide Drawing
Kathrina O’Connell led a cross-curricular project focusing on the human impact on prairie life. Her sixth-grade students collaborated with each other and with field experts to research conservation and maintenance of land, focusing on a part of their local prairie in northwestern Minnesota. They learned to hand-harvest, scarify, and plant seeds to support the growth of prairie grass. Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Protecting Our Prairies
Sonia Saunders taught her fifth-graders how plants and animals obtain energy by presenting students with three “phenomena.” Through research, creativity, and collaboration, students were able to better understand Earth’s natural processes and see themselves as part of a larger ecosystem. Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Channeling Curiosity to Teach Natural Phenomena
ENVIRONMENT Large and small, beautiful and bizarre, researchers have released the top ten new species for 2018. (CNN) What were the top ten two years ago? Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers Toolkit. Discussion Ideas Amphipod Epimeria quasimodo, a tiny crustacean, is abundant in the frigid waters of the ocean surrounding Antarctica. What are amphipods? In what other … Continue reading Top 10 New Species!