The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service recently named the 15 most influential books published from 1890 to today that have connected children with nature. Sharing Nature With Children by NAI member Joseph Cornell is one of the titles listed. Other authors honored in the exhibit include Rachel Carson, Ernest Thompson Seton, Thorten W. Burgess, and Richard Louv. See the complete list at http://library.fws.gov/Children-literature-exhibit.html.
— Legacy (Nat. Assoc. of Interpretation) (June 2011)
While Sharing Nature With Children is not strictly a children’s book, it is meaningless unless shared with a child. This groundbreaking book by world-renowned nature educator Joseph Cornell was first published in 1979. Ironically, in our green conscious society, this book is more relevant today than it was 30 years ago. It is becoming increasingly more and more important to foster a sense of respect and reverence for the natural world in future generations if our efforts to clean up the environment are going to have any impact. This book is an excellent tool to do exactly that.
Sharing Nature With Children is jam packed with activities to get you and your kids outdoors. The activities categorized according to Cornell’s Flow System of education, consist of four types: Awaken Enthusiasm, Focus Attention, Direct Experience and Share Inspiration. Every activity begins with a bullet point description of the type of activity, best time of day for the activity, size of group, age appropriateness and any materials needed. This makes it easy to pick out games that are appropriate for your situation.
Keeping up with our 21st century way of life, you can have a peak at the activities online at Sharing Nature Squidoo. I have to admit that it wasn’t until I watched the video of the children sitting under the tree calling the birds that I was really hooked. While some of the videos might seem a bit hokey to us sophisticated moderns when you hear Cornell speak about his passion you can tell his message is needed today. His philosophy is that when we appreciate the world around us we begin to understand that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.
Since the book has been around for a while, copies are readily available at most libraries, and Dawn Publications is celebrating the 30th anniversary of publication this year with special offers.
Joseph Cornell founded the Sharing Nature Foundation in 1979. He offers workshops to nature educators around the world.
— San Francisco Examiner (www.examiner.com) – Nancy McConnell (April 7, 2009)
Sharing Nature with Children is not just a book but a powerful approach to nature education. The first edition of this book sparked a worldwide revolution in nature education and became a classic. The author, Joseph Cornell, is one of the most highly regarded nature educators in the world today. His expertise, and his irrepressible enthusiasm for the grandeur and mystery of nature spill over onto every page. His unique blend of knowledge and warmth creates an atmosphere for learning that is very contagious.
— National Association for Interpretation
Joseph Cornell’s Sharing Nature with Children is really the classic and first influential nature educator’s handbook–read by millions worldwide -a nd I find it extremely handy too. . . the organization and index system lets you find an activity in about 30 seconds when you need one. This is a must have for every parent/nature educator’s collection.
— Dan Rain, father, neighborhood nature mentor and
Wilderness Awareness School staff (November 2009)
Joseph Sharing Nature With Children is in its 20th year of print and is now a classic as a parents’ and teachers’ nature-awareness guidebook. For the 20th Anniversary Edition, author Joseph Cornell drew upon a wealth of experience in nature education to significantly revise and expand his book. New nature games – favorites from the field – and Cornell’s typically insightful commentary makes the second edition of this special classic even more valuable to nature lovers worldwide. The Sharing Nature movement that Cornell pioneered has now expanded to countries all over the globe. Recommended by Boy Scouts of America, American Camping Association, National Audubon Society and many others.
— Southern Maryland Parent Line (June 2004)
This book and Sharing Nature With Children II are wonderful resources for League chapters that conduct any sort of youth program. They would also be great gifts for schools or scouting groups. The books are filled with games activities for all ages. A quick reference precedes each activity, listing intended concepts to be experienced, when and where to play, size and age of group, and any special materials needed to conduct the activity. Although they are older publications, these books contain many great activities to help connect children of all ages with nature.
— Outdoor America (Winter 2010)
Joseph Cornell has produced many useful and inspirational books dedicated to getting children outside and immersed in their natural world. First published in 1979, Sharing Nature With Children, and the second book which followed 10 years later, have more than stood the test of time. I am sure that, without even knowing it, many of us in our work as teachers, facilitators and naturalists utilize many of the innovative games, activities and writings. Sharing Nature With Children I and II are for most of us a great collection of nature activities. Inside you can find dozens of games, activities, stories and inspiration – everything from all out play to quiet reflection to calling animals. And all of this is in the name of getting kids, ages 2-102, to observe and enjoy the natural world around them. If you have ever “Built a Tree” or made a sound map somewhere along the line you have affected by Joseph Cornell. Looking for some inspiration or some new activities to liven up your lessons? Either of these books are a great place to start.
But in Sharing Nature With Children II, Joseph Cornell has given us more. Through his years of experience as an educator of students of all ages and all over the world, Cornell has developed a great strategy and framework for getting those students to get the most possible out of their experience – a mode of sequencing activities called Flow Learning. Through this four-step skeleton you can sequence activities to make sure that your students are interested, learning and, by the end of the day, getting the most out of the experience. And more importantly, all directly in nature. Cornell even takes it one step further and clues you in as to which step in the process each activity might best fit. Having trouble getting your students motivated or focused on what you are trying to teach? I wont tell you what the steps are here; youll have to check the book out for yourself!
There are many great curriculum and activity guides out there to choose from. I would consider this two book set a must have for any nature educator.
— AEOE Connections Newsletter (Summer 2007)
Joseph Cornell’s classic parents’ and teachers’ nature awareness book for kids has sold almost half a million copies in over 15 languages. His 20th anniversary edition updates some of the original activities and includes several more. The sequel includes new games for children and adults as well as Cornell’s novel method of putting activities together for deeper insights. Each book has loads of events designed for groups, pairs or even solitary action. From scavenger hunts to bird calling, guided imagery to nature meditations, Cornell dovetails the path of knowledge with the path of heart. Also included are notations that show parents/teachers at a glance which games are good for introspection, activity, group work, etc. These are excellent summer books for you and your child – not only to deepen in relationship with nature, animals and each other, but to rediscover that learning really can be fun.
— Alaska Wellness – Dawn Brunke (July/August 2003)
For this 20th anniversary edition of Joseph Cornell?s classic nature awareness book, Cornell has drawn upon a wealth of experience in nature education to significantly revise and expand his book. New nature games – favorites from the field – and Cornell?s typically insightful commentary will make the second edition of this special classic even more valuable to nature lovers worldwide. The Sharing Nature movement that Cornell pioneered has now expanded to countries all over the globe. Recommended by the Boy Scouts of America, American Camping Association, National Audubon Society and many others.
— Barjon’s Newsletter (November 2009)
Sharing Nature With Children has been in print for 20 years and deserves wider attention than it has yet received. The book contains nature activities to be used at environmental learning centers, nature centers, schools, and camps to help children focus on the natural world and improve their observation and concentration skills
. . . Sharing Nature With Children is not just another book of facts, but is grounded in philosophy as well as information, which shares equal status with attitudes. Love of nature and sensitivity to the natural world are major forces motivating both nature study and conservation, and these attitudes can be developed in an authentic and lasting way by personal experience close at home, more than by watching videos about whales or the tropical rain forest. This low-tech activity-based approach has major implications for science teaching at all levels, standing in complete contrast to many current educational trends, which call for science activities to be highly structured, dependent on technology, and driven by objectives.
Cornell’s activities are responsive to what is actually happening in nature, rather than pushing for a desired outcome. Like nature itself, these activities always “work.” There are no simulations here; the results are real, not planned in advance by another person. The children study the natural world on its own terms, just as scientists do. The guided observation approach can be especially beneficial for students who are so accustomed to “interactive” computer activities, that they have no desire to focus their attention on “unresponsive” nature. It would be a worthwhile challenge for science teachers to choose a similar orientation and develop activities like these using real materials for school science courses.
— Science Books & Films – Catherine Reed, University of Minnesota
Imagine a book full of activities where kids can have fun and learn about nature at the same time. A classic when it was released 20 years ago, the book returns in a newly revised edition, courtesy of renowned naturalist Joseph Cornell. The book lists a collection of games (including eight not found in the original edition), that involve an interaction between children and the natural environment surrounding them. For example, the game “Find Your Age” challenges children to investigate different trees in a forest until they have located one that is their age. The games in the book involve groups of children, require few props and are an effective tool for creating a greater awareness and enthusiasm for the beauty of nature.
— Today’s Librarian (July 1999)
Joseph Cornell is the author of Sharing Nature With Children and Sharing Nature With Children II. This two volume set showcase nature studies and appreciation activities that any parent, teacher, or child care provider can readily engage in with children. An appreciation for the complex and interrelated life forms that comprise the exosphere of their environments is a solid basis to establish a life-long enthusiasm for nature and the out-of-doors, as well as a lasting commitment to environmental issues and concerns. Each volume is available independently, but school and community libraries are urged to acquire them both for the nature activities and environmental reference collections.
— Midwest Book Review (January 2002)