Connecting Children and Nature
The first month of school sets the tone for the entire year. That’s why so many teachers put lots of time and energy into establishing daily routines, explaining school rules, and practicing classroom procedures. It’s just as important to focus on the attitudes that will make each day rewarding for both kids and teachers. But how do you present attitudes in a way that appeals to children without being didactic? We suggest you let nature be the teacher.
With a light touch especially suited to children, Wonderful Nature, Wonderful You explores lessons from nature that encourage children to do and be their best. Here are few specific examples:
Coperation—With a bold illustration, simple text explains that gorillas only fight when they need to protect themselves. Most of the time they would rather be peaceful and play. On the facing page, children get a gentle message about cooperation.
“You, too, can decide what’s important to make a fuss about and what isn’t. Probably you’ll discover that most of the time, things work out better when you find a way to get along.”
Acceptance—In our fast-paced world, changes are always happening. A caterpillar becoming a butterfly is a wonderful example that change is constantly happening in nature—and often change can be beautiful.
“You may not understand why a change happens to you. You may not like it. But look for something good about the change, and you might find it.”
Confidence—Children (adults, too) can fall into the trap of comparing themselves to others. In nature, fish don’t try to grow feathers because birds have them. Tigers have stripes, leopards have spots, and lions don’t have either. Sometimes we need a reminder to be confident.
“There will always be people who can do things you can’t, or who have things you don’t. You have your own special gifts. What do you think they are?”
Other attitudes supported by the book include: confidence, integrity commitment, empathy, and tolerance. A great activity
Artist of the Month
Like many children, when Jill Dubin was a kid she and her sister cut out paper dolls. But to make them more interesting, they would cut off the heads and staple them back on—resulting in heads that wobbled, so they called their paper dolls “yes-no dollies.” Her mother never blocked Jill’s artistic energy, just as Jill never blocked the artistic […]
Nature Books for Kids
Looking for fun science activities for K-3rd grade? Check out the activities for our new fall title, Over on the Desert: Somewhere in the World.
Over on the Desert is part of a bestselling series by Marianne Berkes that teaches about biomes—to the tune of “Over in the Meadow.” A delightful collection of desert animals, from jerboas and dingos to gilas and camels, are shown in their different habitats using adaptive behaviors, all the while the song guides kids through a fun counting game.
Our favorite science activity from the book is…