There are many curricula that provide outdoor lesson ideas. The DNR offers a variety of educator trainings from the Minerals Educator Workshop to Project Learning Tree. A description of all programs can be found on the DNR education Web site. Highlighted below is a list of Minnesota workshop most pertinent to school forest educators.
How to Teach in Your School Forest
Workshops are conducted only for official school forests. These free, site-specific trainings are designed to help teachers become more comfortable teaching in their School Forest. Workshopsinclude:
- Effective,indoor and outdoor, hands-on forestry activities
- Activities that address Minnesota academic standards
- Connections to local natural resource professionals
- Strategies for teaching outdoors
- PLT Environmental Education Activity Guide
MinnAqua is a program of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources designed to introduce students to lake and stream ecology by teaching them how to fish. The curriculum guide looks at habitats and ecosystems, Minnesota fish, water stewardship, managing Minnesota resources, and fishing equipment and techniques. A variety of games, activities, and simulations are used to promote stewardship of Minnesota's aquatic habitats.
Project Learning Tree uses the forest as a "window" on the world to increase students' understanding of our environment, stimulate critical and creative thinking, develop the ability to make informed decisions on environmental issues, and foster a commitment to take responsible action on behalf of the environment. Since 1976, PLT has been helping students learn how to think, not what to think, about the environment. PLT materials are only available to workshop participants. Minnesota PLT materials include an early childhood supplement, a PreK-8 activity guide, five secondary guides, and focused materials on fire, energy, and teaching techniques.
Project WET'smission is to reach children, parents, educators, and communities of the world with water education. This goal is accomplished through the use of resource guides that promote awareness, appreciation, knowledge, and stewardship of water resources. Project WET materials are only available to workshop participants. Minnesota Project WET materials include a K-12 guide, water quality guides and test kits, and focused materials on wetlands, watersheds, and water conservation.
Project WILD'smission is to provide wildlife-based conservation and environmental education that fosters responsible actions toward wildlife and related natural resources. Since 1983, Project WILD has helped students expand their knowledge of wildlife populations and animal management issues. Project WILD offers activities for teachers of early childhood through high school students. Project WILD materials are only available to workshop participants. Minnesota Project WILD materials include an early childhood supplement, a K-12 activity guide, high school guides, and focused materials on aquatic animals, elk, and birds.
How to Teach Forestry to Kids workshops are offered by Minnesota PLT to natural resource professionals and volunteers. These trainings are designed for nonteachers, and offer a crash course in pedagogy and activities to teach about forestry to K-12 students. Contact the PLT Coordinator ([email protected] ) for more information or visit the workshop schedule