6 Picture Books to Support Nature-Based Learning in May

Winter seemed to hang around especially stubbornly this year, but in the last week leaves have suddenly begun to emerge on trees, the grass seems to have sprung up another inch every morning, and the seeds we planted are all sprouting happily in the garden. With so much new plant growth, it’s the perfect time to dive in to some basic botany exploration, and the 6 books I’ve selected this month offer a perfect framework for doing just that. 

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6 Picture Books to Support Nature-Based Learning in April

The official start of spring may be in March, but around here it's often in April when things start to really feel "springy." On warm days the birdsong is surprisingly loud, and the trees are filled with busy birds, many of whom are beginning their nesting season. April is also a damp month for us, with frequent rainfalls helping to bring life back to the landscape. The six books I've selected this month focus on the themes of nesting and rainfall and offer a great jumping-off point for springtime exploration and investigation.

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"So all you do is play outside...?" 3 Techniques for Making Learning Visible in Forest and Nature School Programs

“So all you do is play outside?”

If you’re in this field, chances are you’ve heard that question more times than you can count. Whether you’re trying to enroll new students, secure grant funding, convince administrators to get on board, or simply explain what you do at a cocktail party, you need to be armed with information that quickly and clearly conveys the depth of learning that takes place through early childhood outdoor play...

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6 Picture Books to Support Nature-Based Learning in March

After a long, cold winter, it's always a relief when March rolls around, bringing with it the first signs of spring. There are few things that children love more than the chance to splash in puddles and squelch in the mud that invariably appears in my neck of the wood this time of year. There's something magical and invigorating about seeing life gradually returning to the landscape, and the six books I've selected this month all capture that feeling...

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6 Picture Books to Support Nature-Based Learning in February

While it's easy to write off winter as a season where there just isn't that much going on outdoors, I've found the opposite to be true. Though the ground may be frozen and the trees may be bare, the changed landscape offers a fresh perspective for observation of the natural world.

The six books I've selected this month all help foster appreciation for the natural wonder to be found at this time of year...

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Whatever the Weather: Meaningful Math & Science Integration Through Weather Study

Since weather is such an integral part of any outdoor learning experience, it's a no-brainer to use it as a jumping off point for deeper exploration and learning. While children will learn plenty  simply by being outdoors, introducing a basic weather tracking routine will give them a richer understanding of the world around them and allow for meaningful integration of key math and science skills. 

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6 Picture Books to Support Nature-Based Learning in January

In our neck of the woods we tend to get our first real snows in January, so it's perfect time to pull out books that capture the magic of snowfall from a range of perspectives. I find that the richest learning occurs when students are presented with a combination of fact and fiction, helping deepen their naturalist knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts while also providing fodder for creative exploration and thematic dramatic play. These six books do just that...

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Emma Huvos