Thursday 8 October 2020

Educational Resources for Kids on Nature and the Environment

Banded Wooly Bear caterpillar

If your kids are homeschooling this year or if you’re a teacher eager to take your class outside, you may be searching for resources. We’re sure you’ve already checked out many of the local options, but here are some you may not have come across. 

Alberta Council for Environmental Education 
There are lots of teaching resources on the Alberta Council for Environmental Education’s website. Did you know you can sign up for a virtual field trip on Skype in the Classroom? Would you like to measure the heat loss from your home this winter? 

Climate Atlas of Canada 
The Climate Atlas of Canada website includes an interactive map as well as a large number of short videos on topics such as energy, emissions & agriculture, wind power on the prairies, and Indigenous climate action. 

Kids for the Bay, Earth Island Institute 
There’s a wealth of activity ideas on the Kids for the Bay website. If your kids are interested in nature, you can make a sound map, get active with play-yoga, or go on a seed hunt. If you’ve got some junior environmentalists, why not try making natural pesticides or logging how much water you use in a day? Or you can conduct an experiment to help your kids understand ocean currents or coastal erosion. There are accompanying videos and links that provide additional information. 
Grass Spider

Let’s Talk Science 
Let’s Talk Science offers a wealth of science projects. You can try your hand at cleaning up an oil spill, find out how walking on soil changes the way water soaks into the ground, or discover how dinosaur footprints turned into fossils

Nature’s Wild Neighbors 
Wild Neighbors, established by the Robert Bateman Foundation, has a creative arts contest for kids as well as educational resources. Activity sheets explain how to record a bird song playlist, grow fungus, or work out what is renewable and what isn’t

Resources for Rethinking 
Resources for Rethinking connects teachers to lesson plans, books, videos, and other materials that explore the environmental, social and economic dimensions of important issues and events unfolding in our world today. Activities include imagining the world kids want in 2030, redesigning plastic packaging, or role playing whether or not to destroy a salt marsh to build a highway. 

Science NetLinks 
Find out how passive solar design mitigates climate change, investigate sources of renewable energy, or find out how sedimentary rocks are formed using educational toolkits on Science Net Links, a project of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

Wild About Vancouver 
Wild About Vancouver is an outdoor nature festival similar to Saskatoon’s NatureCity Festival. Individuals and organizations are invited to submit lesson plans and there are lots to choose from. Discovering decomposers is a great fall activity – what actually happens to those leaves that fall to the ground? Is there a really tall tree in your neighbourhood? Why not measure it (with or without technology)?

Check out EcoFriendly Sask’s Nature Companion, a free nature app for Canada’s four western provinces.

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