By taking a closer look at their community, students can gain an appreciation for its structure and complexity. In this activity, students will develop a deeper understanding of the many people, places, and things on which they depend every day.
This is one of 96 activities that can be found in PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. To get the activity, attend a training either in person or online and receive PLT’s PreK-8 Guide. Below are some supporting resources for this activity.
Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:
PLT’s 12 Green Job Fact Sheets
Learn more about the wide array of jobs related to forests with PLT’s 12 Green Jobs Fact Sheets, which highlights the following green jobs: Forester, Environmental Educator, GIS Specialist, Indigenous Relations Specialist, Forestry Technician, Park Ranger, Hydrologist, Silviculture Technician, Urban Forester, Machine Operator, Wildlife Biologist, and Sustainability Manager. Green jobs offer opportunities for people with diverse backgrounds, skills, interest areas, and personal qualities. Youth and adults alike might be surprised at the range of green career opportunities. These jobs help sustain forest ecosystems and ensure that forest products are produced in the most sustainable way possible also ensure that wildlife habitat is conserved, trees are replanted, and workers are treated fairly.
Detroit Parks Coloring Pages
Learn what makes a city park great, such as local wildlife, spaces for public enjoyment and community activities, with this Detroit Parks Coloring Book. Use these coloring pages (available for download, print, and color) for students to explore the parks around the city of Detroit, Michigan. Then, discuss with students ways your community might conserve and enhance its public spaces with the help of PLT activities and have them investigate organizations, like the non-profit Detroit Riverfront Conservancy, that work to support community public spaces.
Virtual Field Trip
Take your students on an upcoming Virtual Field Trip. Hosted by Discover Education, virtual field trips allow your students to immerse themselves into unique learning experiences. Explore the National Archives, NASA’a Goddard Space Flight Center, or learn more about conservation with a “Futureland” demonstration.
Environmental Justice – EPA’s Data and Mapping Tool
EJ SCREEN is an environmental justice mapping and screening tool that combines environmental and demographic indicators to provide interesting and important regional data related to public health and environmental quality. By clicking anywhere on the map, users can view an area’s ozone levels, traffic concentrations, lead paint indicators, and more. EJSCREEN can assist in the identification of rural, urban, and suburban areas that are the most at-risk and it allows users to find correlations between the socioeconomic background of the region and the prevalence of environmental hazards.
Geoscience Career Videos
The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) has put together two new videos that highlight potential paths for high school students interested in a geoscience career. The first video titled Groundwater Careers includes interviews with college students and professionals who discuss their field work, lab work, and passion for becoming an environmentalist. The second video titled Groundwater is Cool provides important facts, figures, and profound statistics about the world’s groundwater use and thus the need for groundwater professionals.
Earth from Space
This Smithsonian Institution website provides students (and teachers!) access to views of conditions and events on earth that are nearly impossible to document from the Earth’s surface. The site proves interactive; explaining how satellite imagery is gathered and used to better understand the world around us.
The Place Where You Live
Orion magazine has reinstated its popular column called “The Place Where You Live.” This is a space where students and educators can share thoughts and experiences related to their communities or personal places. First-hand feelings are shared, such as what connects individuals to their special place, the history it holds, their hopes and fears for it, as well as resources necessary to protect it, prepare it for the future, and/or improve it.
Agents of Nature – Free Mobile App
The Agents of Nature Mobile Game is a place-based, environmental education game for iOS and Android devices that blends best practices in gaming industry technology with experiential outdoor education. It is designed to connect youth with nature, educate them about local ecosystems, and promote physical activity using readily accessible technologies. After downloading the free app, students head out to participating sites in their community and search for hidden QR codes which unlock challenges based on the mysteries of nature. Possible locations include Mount St. Helens, Los Angeles, Houston, and more. Try it today!
A free app that can be downloaded onto Apple devices. This story production tool can be used to create a personal story and enhance it by adding your own drawings, audio, and animation. The illustrations can be moved, expanded, reduced, or rotated with touch, and you can record your own voice as narrator.
Where is A? Where is Z? Under a rock? In a tree? Go outside and see. Use this pictorial guide to discover the alphabet in nature.
Order Free Scientist Cards from Natural Inquirer
Natural Inquirer is now accepting free orders for their Scientist Card sets, directly from their web site. Individual orders are limited to either one full pack (100 cards) or up to 3 of the smaller packs (Women in Science, Classroom set, and Wildlife Scientists). The smaller packs all contain 30 cards a piece. Use these cards to connect PLT lessons to actionable careers!