Learning Outdoors

Resources from Environmental Education - 9/17/20

The SDW Environmental Education team will be sending weekly newsletters throughout the school year. Our hope is that some of the activities will support your classroom learning, inspire you to take your students outside, or spark a creative idea for you. If there are specific topics that you would like us to explore, please feel free to reach out with your ideas or suggestions! We can support you best when we know what you need!

SDW EE Supports Outdoor Learning

We know that this year is asking for a lot of flexibility, patience, and perseverance! As you are being asked to take learning outdoors, the SDW EE team wants to support you! Check out the video below to learn how we can help.

To see detailed outdoor learning ideas, check out this slideshow.

To see a flyer that outlines our support offerings this year, check out this link.

Teaching Outdoors

Outdoor Learning Support Series

The Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education is offering a series of virtual conversations about bringing learning outdoors. Here's what they say about the offering:

"Get support for teaching in your place outside. In this series of chats, we will explore various topics related to outdoor education each month. We will draw on LEAF’s expertise and our network of experienced teachers to host a general Q & A, facilitate meaningful discussions, troubleshoot and share ideas amongst each other, and learn at least one hands-on activity that is easy for students to do outside or remotely. We hope to create a sounding board and idea generation place for educators to handle the emerging COVID-19 conditions."

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The SDW EE team is excited to offer sit-upon kits to all SDW classrooms. A sit-upon is simply a waterproof, portable surface that offers a dry spot to sit when learning outdoors. We will deliver the materials to your school for your students to construct. The video below demonstrates the process!
Sit-Upon Demo

Forestry History - Free Film

Interested in learning more about the history of our forests? You can request a 2-hour documentary (broken into 4 parts) about the U.S. Forest Service by emailing james.lewis@foresthistory.org or andrea.anderson@foresthistory.org

More info about the film can be found here and information about the companion teaching materials can be found here.

Planetarium Corner

Welcome back to the 2020 -2021 school year, Earthlings. I am excited to share a few amazing opportunities with you that are happening within the space world. These are extension activities slated over the next weeks and beyond.

First, are you interested in listening to a story beyond our atmosphere? Make sure to check out this website to tune into story time from space. Second, are you an artist or enjoy incorporating art into your everyday learning environment? Here is a unique artwork contest for all you space lovers. Make sure to finish your design by October 28th, 2020. Lastly, this link includes numerous free live-streaming opportunities about the various science themes taught throughout the schooling journey. Next week's livestream is geared towards K- 2nd grade, where the topic is the moon. What an amazing outreach opportunity for the 1st grade scholars.

Green and Healthy Schools Fall Learning Series

The organization Green and Healthy Schools WI is offering a fall learning series designed for students in grades 6-12. Each week will feature a different expert speaking on a variety of topics including fermentation, flooding, energy, tree identification, and more. See below for a full list of presentation topics. Sessions are 30 minutes and alternate Tuesdays and Wednesday each week. To learn more and register, check out this link.

Meet the Critters

As part of our efforts to digitize our EE programs this summer, we created a "Meet the Critters" series to help learners interact with the live animals that we have at E.B. Shurts. This video highlights our Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches!
Meet the Critters - The Cockroach Family

Moving in Nature

Sometimes instead of moving fast by running, jumping, or hiking through nature, it can feel good to move slowly. This video talks about a concept called Forest Bathing, where moving slowly and using your senses are encouraged!
Practicing Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing)

Garden Corner

Garden Corner Introduction

City Blossoms Lesson Plans

The organization City Blossoms has compiled a wide range of virtual-friendly lessons that focus on gardening and nature. Many of the lessons could be completed outside on a school grounds. For the full list of resources visit this link. For the lesson below about different components of the food web, click on this link. Lessons are available in English and Spanish.
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Big Green Lessons - Grades K-10

For a host of activities geared toward students in grades K-10, check out this link.

Past Newsletters

Looking for resources from past newsletters? You can access them all at this link.

Science Joke of the Week

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