Place-based Science for Educators: Resources





I will post resources for each module here.  If you have additional resources you’d like to share with your colleagues (or me!) you can post them here


Module 1 Resources

Books and Authors:

Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature, by Jon Young, Evan McGown, and Ellen Haas — This is an enormous book of resources and ideas for connecting kids to nature in a variety of ways.  There is a strong focus on developing awareness and appreciation.  Jon Young also started the Wilderness Awareness School and has written and spoken extensively on bird language.

David SobelSobel is a pioneering place-focused educator who taught at Antioch New England.  He has a written a number of books about place-based teaching strategies for a variety of ages.

The Forest Unseen, by David George Haskell — This book is a favorite of mine.  The writing is beautiful, the biology fascinating, and the method of learning about place inspirational.  He has written several other books as well.

Last Child in the Woods, by Richard Louv  — A seminal book that details the impacts of 21st century kids going outside much less than the previous generation. 

Mary Oliver — Oliver was a prolific poet whose main fascination throughout her life was the natural world.  She passed away in 2019; this article shares about her life.

Assignments and Examples:

Wonder Journal introduction and example I use with my students. 

Question Marathon assignment I use with my students.

The Tourist Test, from Teage O’Connor; see also Teage’s full natural history course for teachers here

Live Session:  Slides from our first live session are available here.

Module 2 Resources

Books and Authors

Reading the Forested Landscape, by Tom Wessels — An invaluable resource to uncover and solve many mysteries about why our New England landscape looks the way it does.  You can also find some great videos of his reading the landscape approach online.

Wetland, Woodland, Wildland, by Elizabeth Thompson and Eric Sorenson — An excellent handbook for those who want to identify natural communities in Vermont.

Jerry Jenkins — Jenkins is an incredible botanist and photographer who has published thousands of high-quality images of plants and trees.  He has also put out several guides in print form that are worth checking out.

Assignments and Examples:

Species account assignment and examples I share with my students.  Here is a Word doc version of the assignment.

Naturalist walk assignment that I use with my students is available here.  You can also see the maps and the resource page I provide them with here.

Live Session: Slides from our second live session are available here.

Module 3 Resources

Books, Authors, and Courses

A Trail Through Leaves, by Hannah Hinchman — This is one of my favorite books about connecting to nature in a more artistic way.  Hinchman offers a variety of activities you could do on your own or with students in a truly beautiful book.

The Laws Guide to Natural Drawing and Journaling and How to Teach Nature Journaling by John Muir Laws (the latter also by Emilie Lygren) — Excellent resources on drawing and journaling in nature, with a number of useful activities and techniques.

Photography courses with Sean Beckett — Sean is a friend and fantastic wildlife photographer; he offers both online and in person courses through his website.

Nature drawing courses with Christine Elder — While I haven’t taken a course with Christine, she offers a number of excellent resources, including several courses that one can take to advance their own nature drawing skills.

Assignments and Examples:

This is the photography wonder journal assignment I use with my students.

And this is the sketching assignment I share with students.