Nature study

Bridging the Outdoors with Science Education, ELA, Art, and Historical Perspectives


Sheri Amsel is a biologist and artist who created the Exploring Nature website. Her session focused on using nature trails and other outdoor venues as learning resources. She shared many of her materials, most of which are available on her website. She also emphasized the value of having students draw while they’re in the field. Most of the resources from her presentation are also posted on the NSTA Communities site.
A resource I’m going to try is Making Tracks At this website, you can find a nature trail in your state, or (better yet) you can enter a trail at your school or community. Then you list species found there and get a a customized, illustrated list that can be printed. I’m going to share this with a nature center in my town.
She also showed how nature can be brought indoors with activity boxes, which are about the size of a manilla folder box.The one pictured here has materials collected from a forest floor. At first, students may say “this is junk” but with a few prompts they begin to see artifacts from a rich habitat.

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