Nature as a Learning Tool

By Miller, Sean | The Science Teacher, Summer 2011 | Go to article overview

Nature as a Learning Tool


Miller, Sean, The Science Teacher


As summer days cool and students venture back to the classroom, they often return with stories of family trips to new and exciting places. Many go to the beach or local, state, or national parks--all of which provide great learning opportunities. Whether through art, history, writing, or geography, drawing on students' firsthand experiences can help them develop an appreciation for nature and its historical roots.

Earth Day Network

The Earth Day Network's 40th Anniversary Curriculum (see "On the web") can help students explore their summer experiences. The curriculum focuses on the history of the Environmental Movement and includes videos, graphs, lectures, timelines, and archival footage from five eras of environmental history: Preconservation, Conservation, Modern Environmental Movement, Environmental Justice, and Sustainability.

All of the lessons are easily adaptable to the K--12 environment and can be incorporated throughout the school year. Using these lessons at the start of the year can offer a more detailed approach to what students may have only casually witnessed on their summer break.

Conservation--The Seed Is Planted

This lesson, which falls under the second era, focuses on different artistic interpretations of land and how it influenced the birth of the modern national park system. Following the Lewis and Clark expeditions in the early 1800s, artists--such as Ansel Adams, George Catlin, and Albert Bierstadt--were sent west to document those areas of the United States that had never been explored or inhabited by Europeans. People who couldn't travel relied on these artists' works, which were available in books, magazines, and newspapers.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Ask your students to research the landmarks they visited over the summer and compare their findings with their own pictures and descriptions. Are there differences? What were the larger social and political implications of showing the American public this land?

If students are less traveled, have them research places they'd like to visit and find different artistic interpretations. What accounts for these differences? How have these landmarks been represented over time?

Numerous political battles have been fought over land preservation--another great classroom discussion point. The battles of John Muir, Aldo Leopold, and their contemporaries brought issues of conservation and preservation into the political sphere and to the forefront of America's consciousness.

To understand early conservation issues, split students into two teams to debate wilderness versus civilization: Do the negatives of logging forests outweigh the need for timber? Is untouched wilderness more important than damming a river for water and power? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Nature as a Learning Tool
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.