solutionary

Five Ways to Nourish Your Soul and Make a Difference

Zoe Weil is a blogger for Psychology Today (PT), and twice a month we share her blog posts here. Enjoy! We tend to protect and care for who and what we love. Ask any parent if they would be willing to sacrifice themselves to save their child, and they’ll likely answer yes. I had the…

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last child in the woods

Children & Nature Network

Co-founded by Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, the Children & Nature Network seeks to reconnect children with the natural world. The website offers ideas, resources, tools, and several initiatives to help children, families, schools, and communities connect with nature and renew their love and wonder for the environment. Initiatives and resources…

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wonder box

The Wonder Box

The Wonder Box is used to hold a collection of various natural found objects (shells, leaves, feathers, rocks, twigs, deceased insects, etc.). Students can interact with the objects, inspecting them, using their five senses, drawing/sketching, painting, a picture of the object(s), writing a poem, listing describing words, creating a story, etc. The Wonder Box can…

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Resources: Natural Value

Natural Value

Students reflect on an image that captures natural beauty and the intrinsic value that nature has in order to consider their own roles in protecting nature  and to help nurture their sense of wonder. (As an alternative, students can do this activity focusing on an individual animal.) Recommended for grades 8-12. Time: 45 minutes

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Resources: Mouse vs. Zucchini

Mouse vs. Zucchini: A Lesson on Perspective

Using a brief video featuring a mouse and a zucchini on a kitchen counter, students will consider the issue of perspective and discover and think about the perspectives of other people and of nonhuman animals. Recommended for grades 2-7. Time: 30 minutes

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school garden

8 Resources for Greening Your Schoolyard

by Marsha Rakestraw You only have to watch kids in a garden or park to know that we humans have a special connection with the natural world. Studies have shown that we benefit physically, emotionally, and mentally (including academically) from our interactions with nature. Yet except for a hemmed-in tree here or there, or a…

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ladybug

Wonder Walk

Participants take turns leading each other on a silent Wonder Walk to discover the natural world with their five senses. Recommended for all ages. Time: 30 minutes Common Core Standards for this activity (pdf): Download Common Core for grades K-2. Download Common Core for grades 3-5. Download Common Core for grades 6-8. Download Common Core…

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scavenger hunt

Scavenger Hunt

Help participants rediscover the wonder of the natural world by taking them on an outdoor scavenger hunt for which they’ll record their finds, rather than “taking” anything. Recommended for All ages. Time: 45-60 minutes Find out how some of our other activities connect to Common Core Standards (pdf): IHE activities for Common Core for grades…

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beauty in nature

10 Reasons to Take Your Students Outside (& the Research to Back It Up)

A lot of teachers want to offer their students experiences in the natural world, but because of strictures on curriculum, the prevalence of standardized tests, and other challenges, encounters with nature can fall into the category of “nice but not necessary.” But we know from a plethora of research that we humans desperately need that…

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