Tag Archives: nature

Breathing Life into Lessons

I find it challenging to engage elementary students in the life sciences. What are some hands-on activities that work? Are there anchoring phenomena that you recommend? —C., Utah Depending on your curriculum, you could pursue several avenues to capitalize on … Continue reading

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Nature Walks

My grade 3 students seem to be bored with the content on ecosystems. I’m wondering if anyone has any ideas of what I could do to make ecosystems more engaging? — A., Arizona Not being able to visit all the … Continue reading

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Sand explorations

Sand play engages children in many of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) disciplinary core ideas, practices, and crosscutting concepts. Explorations with sand also involve natural phenomena of flow and adhesion, and math concepts of scale and volume, as children … Continue reading

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Why We Shouldn’t Keep "Bugs" in a Drawer

Guest blogger Monica Dolan is the STEM Curriculum Coordinator at The Children’s Center at CalTech where she works as a liaison between the administration and the teaching staff to ensure curriculum plans are consistent with the center’s conceptual STEM based approach. … Continue reading

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Moving water involves using the practices of science and engineering 

Sometimes the discovery of materials on a play area inspires children’s exploration and use of the NGSS science and engineering practices.  In this example a long length of bark from a tree branch became a trough for investigating water flow. … Continue reading

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Live! And recorded, music and nature

How is the experience of listening to, attending to, live music different from listening to a recording? I can be very moved by recorded music, moved to sing along or dance. A particular piece of recorded music can become a … Continue reading

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Experiencing nature–educators make it happen for children and other teachers

Nature play and exploration varies in early childhood (broadly: infant to grade 3) programs and are subject to the local and state licensing regulations, a program’s choice of curriculum, the local environment and weather, and the support of the administration. … Continue reading

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Big learning from short observations of birds: February 17-20, 2017

Walk outside with your children, watch and count birds for 15 minutes while recording the names of those you know, and report your bird count to be part of a world-wide citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds, creating an annual … Continue reading

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Seeing the Real Me: Using Loose Parts from Nature to Create Self Portraits

  Guest bloggers Stacey Francois MS, and Hannah Goble presented a poster session at the national conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. I was delighted to be able to talk with them about their work … Continue reading

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Noticing natural phenomena

This week friends who live on opposite sides of the country messaged me to go look at the Moon and a bright “star” in the southern skies, the planet Venus. The Geminid meteor shower is also happening but the urban light … Continue reading

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