Project Learning Tree (PLT)

graphic: National PLT logo

PLT Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood

Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood and music CD-ROM, winner of 2011 Teachers' Choice Award from Learning Magazine, was developed using the tenets of early childhood education as outlined in the Natural Wonders: Guide to Early Childhood for Environmental Educators.This link leads to an external site.

graphic: Cover of Book and CDActivities in the guide have been correlated to both the Head Start Child Outcomes Framework This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. external link and National Association for the Education of Young Children Standards This link leads to an external site. are modeled on the principles of free choice, hands-on learning, and open-ended activities for ages 3 to 6.

The book contains 11 activities that are arranged in three themes: Senses, Seasons, and Getting to Know Trees. The CD-ROM contains 11 tracks of music to accompany each activity.

The only way to get this book and CD-ROM is to attend a PLT workshop.


Activities in the PLT Early Childhood Supplement include:

  • Sidebar
    • Contains and overview, teacher-based objectives, suggestions for assessment, word bank, and related activities from the PLT PreK–8 Activity Guide.
  • Background for Educators
    • Contains relevant information that provides the educator with an understanding of the science behind what you are observing and exploring. The information will explain some of the basic science concepts, and help prepare you to ask meaningful questions and facilitate the experience. The information in this section is not necessarily intended to be shared with or presented to the children.
  • photo: Sign of Fall posterIntroducing the Theme
    • Use this simple introductory activity to prepare the children for other experiences. The open-ended questions will help you assess the children's prior experiences with the topic, connect with cultural or familial ties, identify misconceptions or fears, and begin to reveal individual needs for differentiated instruction.
  • Featured Experience
    • photo: Child playing in leavesUse this experience to spark the children's interests. It is usually an open-ended walk, outdoor exploration, or an observation that will ask more questions than it will answer.
  • Group Experiences
    • Group activities encourage conservation and interaction. Group sizes will depend on the ages and skills of your children and staff-to-child ration of your program.
      • Learning through Music and Movement
      • Reading and Writing
      • Enjoying Snacks Together
      • Taking Neighborhood Walks
  • photo: Sensory TableLearning Centers
    • Learning centers provide the materials and just enough structure for children to explore topics on their own and in a variety of ways, and make the experience accessible to children with varied needs and learning styles. Offer as many of these centers as your time, budget, and space allow. This guide recommends the following centers:
      • Art
      • Outdoor Play
      • Discovery Table
      • Math and Manipulatives
      • Woodworking
      • Dramatic Play
  • Reading Connections
    • Choose from a list of theme-related fiction and nonfiction books. You can place these books in the reading corner, read them aloud, and use them for reference. See a selected list of preschool nature books.
  • Family and Friends
    • Download Family and Friends This link leads to an external site. pages for each activity and distribute to parents and caregivers. Each page introduces your theme and suggests ways that families and friends can enhance their child's learning experiences.
    • En Español Familia y Amigos This link leads to an external site. (Click on the activity and select Spanish Translation version)