Let Nature Be the Teacher

Ozark teachers attend 4e orientation.

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Ozark teachers using nature's lab to teach how animals survive in winter.

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Using "bird bingo" teacher's learn the specialized structures of birds.

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Improve student non-fiction reading skills by creating foldable field guides.

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Teaching With Animal Tracks

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Published on: Mar. 13, 2013

I was one of those kids that loved to be outside. But I also loved school. What a dream if you could do both! Well, you can. A Department of Elementary and Secondary Education grant thru Missouri State University allowed staff from the Missouri Department of Conservation to help 28 local teachers let nature be the teacher for their students.

More Than Fishing and Bugs

Some things are pretty easy to teach outside – plant identification and food chains for example. But what about telling time? Or the Scientific method? Or how about Non-fiction reading? The Missouri outdoors is perfect for many concepts that teachers have to teach, but are sometimes lost on students in the classroom. In general, the outdoors provides a much better atmosphere to engage children in developing those critical thinking skills. For instance, could you come up with an estimate of how many worms there are per acre? Or how many holes are in a sweetgum ball? These are great questions! They’re also great opportunities to let your students figure ways to problem solve. These types of questions help students learn how to think—not what to think.

Discover Nature at Your School

Interested in learning more about taking education outside at your school? Contact your local Conservation Education Consultant. Not sure who that is? Check out the Related Information link below and let nature be your teacher.

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We help people discover nature.


On April 11th, 2013 at 10:51pm Larry said:

It appears it's actually the extract from the Chrysanthemum plant that is the effective component attributing to the pest control in gardens. Many of the homeowners were already preparing for the fall season and decorated their gardens accordingly. Cut off the cilantro stalks and allow the plant and seeds to dry fully in a paper bag, then collect the seeds.

On April 10th, 2013 at 3:58pm six sigma certification said:

Top dress the plants each year with worm castings and bone meal worked into the top few inches of soil. Melon seeds can be started indoors before the last frost or if in a no-frost region, started directly outdoors. You can purchase a 70 percent formulation of Neem oil at most garden supply stores and online, or purchase the oil extract and dilute the oil with water and place into a spray bottle.

On April 10th, 2013 at 10:39am cardem said:

Mr. Steele, Thanks for your comment.  The flintlock sounds like a wonderful piece of history and how fortunate you are to have such a wonderful part of our past in your possession.  Unfortunately, my collection extends back only to 1969.  I would suggest contcting our office in Jefferson City.  They would have a  much better chance of having it in their archives.  Best of luck. 

On March 23rd, 2013 at 4:26pm Mike Steele said:

Does anyone have copies of old Mo Conservationists from the 1950's? I'm looking for an article the M.C. ran in the early '50's about a flintlock "Kentucky Poor Boy" that was used the year (ca. 1952) Missouri re-opened turkey hunting. I own that flintlock. Regards, Mike Steele
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