(Contenido disponible en Español está marcado abajo)
World Environment Day is celebrated on June 5 every year to encourage awareness and action for the protection of our environment. Today, we’re focusing on the importance of the environment through age-appropriate lessons, stories, and more.
10 ways to explore nature
(Disponible en español)
Camp director Nicole has lots of experience leading our campers through nature in the city and connecting them to it in new ways. She’s created this list of 10 ways to explore nature with your young scientist. Click here to access it in English and Spanish.
Teaching Tip: Looking for advice from our educators? Check out their top seven tips for teaching science at home. Click here for the tips in English and here for the tips in Spanish.
Who will plant a tree?
(Disponible en español)
Marjorie is exploring the amazing connection between plants and animals in today’s Story Time. Click here to watch her read “Who Will Plant a Tree?”
Teaching Tip: Keep the tree-themed Story Time fun going back checking out “Now I Know Trees” (“Cómo Son Los Árboles”) by Sharon Gordon. Click here for the English version and click here for the Spanish version.
Ages 2-5: Introducing nature
We share our homes with nature. Introducing very young children to nature from the start will provide the groundwork for a growing understanding of the environment as they get older. Concrete, familiar ideas such as home provide a starting point for very young children to engage with nature on a personal level. Click here to download our handout about introducing the environment and climate change to kids ages 2-5.
Guiding Question: Which animals live in our back yard? Do we share our home with any plants or animals? What do you think ‘home’ looks like to them? What makes that place a good home for them?
Ages 6-9: Introducing human impact
What we do in our homes affects nature, and nature affects our homes. At this point, children are old enough to start exploring cause and effect: the ways nature affects their daily lives, and the idea that humans can also impact nature. Start with simple causes that have clear effects, like how the weather impacts your own activities. Click here to download our guide to introducing the environment and climate change to kids ages 6-9.
Guiding Question: Are there places you like to go to be in nature? Does it look the same every time you visit? What is the same and what is different? Do you think nature notices that you were there? What are ways that you help protect nature when you go to a park?
Ages 10-12: Looking to the future
The climate is changing and we can too. By this age, children are generally ready for conversations specifically about climate change. Begin with honest, simple facts: human actions over a long period of time have changed the climate around the world, and it will continue to change in the future. Together you can gradually explore more details about which human actions have created what changes and how. Click here to download our guide to introducing the environment and climate change to kids ages 10-12.
Guiding Question: What would it be like if it rained all the time? What are some good ways to deal with all the problems that arise from too much rain? What are some things we use electricity for? Can you think of ways to do those things with less electricity?
Article Highlight: “Forever Gone”
Humans have had an enormous impact on our world. Although we think of extinction as something that happened to species long ago, there are many species that have disappeared within the last 100 years. Last year, we were proud to host ornithologist Dr. J. Drew Lanham to present “Forever Gone – Extinction and the Case for Ecological Reparations.” You can click here to explore his companion article, “Forever Gone,” about the extinct Carolina parakeet.
Behind the Scenes
Collections intern Kirsten took to our blog to write about the importance of natural history collections and the preservation of those collections. Click here to check it out.