Monday, May 07, 2007

Learning in the Great Outdoors: Second Edition

A Nature Walk at School...
the second edition of
Learning in the Great Outdoors,
the carnival of environmental education

It has been a busy month for your host here at the Limb. I completed a grant application for an Outdoor Education project at the elementary school where I teach and anxiously await news of its fate.

I have received several interesting submissions for this edition, despite the technical difficulty we experienced with the first edition. I apologize to all who found that post difficult to load. I still have no idea why it kept generating nonsense code. Evidently it was an issue with Blogger because the problem seems to have spontaneously disappeared. (If you should have any trouble loading this post please let me know at thelimb(at)mac(dot)com.)

Let start this month's nature walk in the Library.

Before our walk, a little research in the library...

Tricia at Miss Rumphius Effect has written a wonderful three-part guide to Exploring the Natural World (one, two, three). While visiting with Miss Rumpius be sure to enjoy the poetry!

A few days ago I wrote a post about the need to get kids outdoors so that they can spend time exploring the natural world. I was an outdoor kid, so this comes naturally for me. I always took my kids (students) outside for study, and today I take my preservice teachers and the practicing teachers I work with out to consider all the ways the outdoors can enhance and expand their teaching. Even with structured guidance, I still have students who are reluctant about this approach because they aren't sure how to begin or what exactly to do once they go outside.
- Tricia at Miss Rumphius Effect

Julie Dunlap celebrates the centennial of the birth of the author of Silent Spring with Bring Kids to Carson's Birthday Party posted at Pines Above Snow, saying, "Rachel Carson's 100th birthday will be celebrated May 27, 2007. Reading good books about her life devoted to nature is a good way to celebrate her Centennial with children."

Barb reviews a couple of great nature study books: The Heart of Harmony - Nature Study: Found Some Gems at the Library posted at The Heart of Harmony, saying, "We are encouraging a love of nature in our children through nature study, nature journaling, and sketching in the great outdoors. We love to share what we have found that enoucarges us."

See the Nature Journaling lesson plan link in the Botany section.

Out the garden door from the library...ah...choo!

Speaking of nature sketching, have a look at the sketches of Don West. He has a go a illustrating the stuff that's making us all Sneeze, Cough, Wheeze posted at Idle Minutes this spring.

This blogger found an old issue of Country Living magazine with an article about nature journals and posted Starting a Nature Journal at Ravenhill Cottage.

School at Home is blog of a homeschooling mom who often posts about her experiences teaching in and about nature. In 100 Kids and 4938 Years she talks of ancient trees.

Don't forget to look up at the birds. My wife and I have enjoyed watching the industrious, agile, and beautiful barn swallows and cliff swallows swooping up and down the levee, gobbling insects and building their mud houses on the undersides of Rome's many bridges. The Core Team at 10,000 Birds bemoans the slim pickings in April for birders, but still enjoy, as I do, the return of the gorgeous swallows.
I was so happy to see Tree Swallows back in their houses, the uncontested masters of a broad swathe of brown meadow. These agile birds, brilliant in a hundred hues of shimmering blue, are among the first species to arrive in spring. It’s fitting that they get the stage to themselves for a while, because they’ve got serious star power!

Another homeschool blog that posts about nature study is By Sun and Candlelight who hosted a Nature Study meeting for homeschoolers in her home.

Got some unwanted botany? Like poison ivy? Here's someone with an alternative to commercial herbicides: Vinegar for Poison Ivy.

So many species of trees! You can find something about most of them at the Festival of the Trees, a blog carnival dedicated to the giants of the botanical world.

Dadgum it! Look at that privet, poison ivy, -- and there's a Bradford Pear growing in the middle of our forest. Let's pull out the invasive species! John Peter Thompson of Invasive Notes considers the wicked inconvenience of tree-planting.

Granny J. of Walking Prescott points out the delicate spring tassels in an illustrated post called Dangles.

Here's a Nature Journaling lesson plan for elementary grades from PBS Kids.

Let's pick a mess of greens on the playground and by the stream...

Years ago your host enjoyed trying out Euell Gibbons wild things. Stephanie makes me want to try it again. She has been eating fiddleheads! Check it out! Wild Greens posted at Stop the Ride!.

Don't forget to take the camera along...

Terrell (your host) posted an account with pictures of his outdoor walk on the day of the Virginia Tech tragedy, At Peace While the Nation Mourns. And when Terrell visited the school during Spring Break he found the wild things enjoying the peace and quiet, The Wild Life, at Alone on a Limb.

Reigh Belisama at The Ribble Cycle Diaries has posted a gorgeous group of photos at Two Spring Evenings at Marshside. I have enjoyed keeping up with the Ribble since Reigh submitted an interesting post to our firt edition last month.

Then there's the 100 Acre Wood next door and a new foal to check out.

While you are visiting the neighbors stroll through Oekologie, another carnival focused on environmental science.

Back indoors, check out these websites for tools and ideas...

Ms. Newburn has a couple of great tools for environmental educators on her blog recently. Look for the teacher alternatative to YouTube: TeacherTube and Free Range Craphics.

Alvaro Fernandez presents Brain Essay Contest for High School Students posted at SharpBrains, saying, "Let's spread the word of this Essay Contest on Learning the Brain for high-school students!"

And as long as you are already at the computer, send along a little something for the next episode of Learning in the Great Outdoors!

That concludes this edition. If this is your first visit please take a look at our first edition, as well.

As we struggle to become established as a clearinghouse for information, ideas, and inspiration for Learning in the Great Outdoors, we will continue to explore the internet for a few extra items that outdoor educators might find interesting. Please take a few minutes to let us know about websites and blogs that you have found helpful in any aspect of environmental education. And please submit your own posts when they might be of interest to outdoor educators, parents or children. I will also welcome guest hosts. If you would like to host Learning in the Great Outdoors on your site for an upcoming month please e-mail me at thelimb(at)mac(dot)com. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
learning in the great outdoors
using our
carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our

blog carnival index page

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