Thursday, January 31, 2008

Guest Writer for Learning in the Great Outdoors Carnival

When I sent out my request for submissions for the carnival, I had a friend email me with some wonderful information. She doesn't have a blog, so I told her I'd write it up as a post to include in the carnival. Here's what she sent me, just edited a bit for the post:

Oh, if I only had more time. Nature is the core of how I homeschooled.

I am sending you a list of my favorites, most of which are off beat from what you can find at Barnes and Noble and on Charlotte Mason web sites. Most of these sources have a foundation in Native American beliefs. These are just our favorites that we use all the time.

  • Tom Brown's Field Guide to Nature and Survival for Children
  • For older kids ANY of the many Tom Brown, Jr books are great to inspire them to get out into nature
  • National Geographic: The Amateur Naturalist by Nick Baker--great book full of information and projects exploring nature
  • Botany in a Day by Thomas J Elpel--an herbal field guide to plant families of North America, great for teaching botany
  • Keepers series: Keepers of Life, Keepers of the Earth, Keepers of the Animals, Keepers of the Night by Michael J. Caduto and Joseph Bruchac. These are written with Native American Stories to teach, a science lesson and activity for each one. It is wonderful mentor-type learning with a good scientific foundation to supplement each story.
  • Moon Journals: Writing, Art, and Inquiry Through Focused Nature Study By Joni Chancer
  • Illustrating Nature: Right Brain Art in a Left Brain World by Irene Brady
  • Science Notebooks: Writing About Inquiry By Brian Campbell & Lori Fulton
  • Creepy Crawlies and the Scientific Method By Sally Kneidel [there's also Classroom Critters and the Scientific Method]
  • Trickle Creek Books--she has some great nature books for kids. She also has 4 EcoJournals that have really great activities for kids. Go to the half price warehouse on her site--the journals are on sale right now. [I saw they also have: "NewsTrickle--a monthly e-mail newsletter filled with exciting nature news and nature activities. You'll love it!" Plus they are partnered with The Center for Ecosystem Survival.]
  • Any books by Jean Craighead George (search there are many older books out there by her that are great for upper elementary and middle school)
  • Any books by Jim Arnosky (also search there are many older out of print books that are great for younger kids)
  • One small Square Books Web sites: this website/catalog has the best resources for teaching/learning nature
  • Kamana home study program. They have one for younger kids too. Kamana 1 and 2 are great for the middle school and high school nature enthusiast. From their site:
    The Kamana Naturalist Training Program is a four level independent study program that covers the naturalist background needed to engage in the wilderness arts, including tracking, bird language, survival and native living skills, traditional herbalism, and naturalist mentoring. It is the ultimate blueprint for a students' time spent in the field and in conducting nature-related research. Students become confident naturalists, melding modern field ecology with the skills of a native scout.
  • Wildcraft is a great game for learning herbs - even really young kids can do it.
  • On-line amphibian and reptile field guide for VA
  • Anyone one want to start Roots and Shoots with me in Central VA?
  • What's That Bug?
  • EcoKids
  • eNature

Finally, my favorite activity for my kids is having them make their own field guides. We used Blank Bare books, and they would draw and research to make their own field guide page. We made herb guides, flower guides, insect guides, life in our pond guide, forest guide. You get the point;-)

Wow! She had so many resources, and she told me she'd find more if I needed them. I will ask for other resources and put them in a new post later on.

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Terrell said...

These look like great resources - I'm gonna start looking for some of them right away. Thanks!