Learning Outdoors

Resources from Environmental Education - 5/28/20

The SDW Environmental Education team will be sending weekly updates (on Thursdays) with resources and ideas for you to share with students and families. Content may come in the form of videos, lessons, read-aloud stories, or project ideas. Feel free to utilize as much or as little as you would like. If there are specific content areas that you are interested in us exploring, or if there are specific tools that we can create to best support you and your students, feel free to reach out with suggestions!

Week 9 Resources

Art Pages - Tlingit Bird Art


This week we are featuring bird art from the Tlingit people (pronounced KLIN-kit), a community from British Columbia and Southeast Alaska. The name Tlingit means "People of the Tides".


This group has shared a rich tradition of oral storytelling. Some of their stories are preserved in art forms like totem poles, woven robes and baskets, hand carved canoes and tools, and paintings. Their art resembles jigsaw puzzle-like images of animals and people from their stories.


The pages that follow have drawings of three birds in the Tlingit style with their names in the native language.* Color the birds as you wish and solve the riddles provided on each page as to what the bird might be. To access the full PDF of the art pages, use this link.


* Images from the University of Alaska-Sitka Art Department


Answers to the riddles located at the bottom of the newsletter.

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I Spy...

This week our "I Spy" feature comes from EE teacher Sally T!


I Spy....something tannish brown with white polka dots well disguised and sheltered within a patch of red osier near a little lake.

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It is a newborn deer, a fawn! Did the mother abandon her baby?


When a whitetail female gives birth her fawn is very wobbly on its feet. The baby needs to rest and its mother finds a soft place for her fawn to do so. She finds a spot well hidden to the eye of two and four footed onlookers while she forages for food.


Fawns are well protected because they are born scent-free and their little spots give the appearance of sunlight patches. Mother is not far away. With this baby the mother made her appearance about the time we made our discovery. She was 40 ft. from us peeking through the cattails, watching closely.


If you are ever fortunate to come upon a baby deer like this keep your distance, use your eyes only and don't touch. Should you touch the fawn you will leave your scent and that may draw predators. Enjoy its beauty, innocence, and the privilege of your discovery!

Read Aloud - Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins

Do you think one person isn’t big enough to make a positive change in their environment? Think again!


Katherine Olivia Sessions grew up among the pine and redwood forests of Northern California back in the mid-1800s. She became the first woman to graduate from the University of California with a degree in science, and later took a job as a teacher in the dry nearly tree-less desert city of San Diego. But Kate loved trees. So she singlehandedly started a “green” movement that transformed the area into the green leafy oasis it is today. Now, more than 100 years after Kate first arrived in San Diego, her gorgeous gardens and parks can be found all over the city.


We hope you enjoy this read aloud of The Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins.

Kate Sessions, American Botanist

The Tree Lady by H. Joseph Hopkins

River Critters

We sure missed our student visitors this spring! The 3rd grade students who visit us normally catch critters in the river and then use a magnifying class to get a closer look. Since they couldn't come to us, we thought we'd bring the river critters to them! Check out the picture below to see how many critters you can count. If you want to identify what species they might be, click on this link to access our Macroinvertebrate Cards.
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Spring Nature Walk

Ms. Koeppel and Gracie are back for another outdoor adventure! Join them to see what discoveries they can find, and then find some of your own!
Spring Nature Walk

Franklin's Corner

A few weeks back, Franklin asked the trivia question: "What year did the SDW EE program start offering field experiences for students?"


The correct answer was submitted by Drew P! He said:


"field trips started in 1976. Before my mom was born."

-Drew P.


Thanks for sending in an answer Drew! To learn more about Franklin and all of the other turtles that call E.B. Shurts home, check out the video below!

Meet the Turtles at the E B Shurts Center

Science Joke of the Week

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Tlingit Bird Art Riddle Answers...

1) woodpecker 2) hummingbird and 3) swan