"Today my belief in an integrated learning experience for my students remains resolute. I am confident that such an experience can be developed within the context of the ever-shifting state and federal learning standards. I am convinced that nature study is the child-centered program that can integrate critical thinking skills in science, mathematics, and language arts." - Laurie rubin
In Laurie Rubin's book To Look Closely: Science and Literacy in the Natural World, Rubin reflects on what she learned by taking her second grade students outdoors for weekly stream study excursions. Rubin taught first and second grade in Ithaca, New York for 23 years. In To Look Closely, Rubin chronicles a year of experiences at the stream. She shares strategies for teaching outdoors, and discusses how to integrate the skills students acquire through nature study into every subject.
The Pennsylvania Land Trust Association produced the 2014 publication Nature Play: Nurturing Children and Strengthening Conservation Through Connections to the Land. Authors Ken Finch and Andrew M. Loza explain how nature play enhances children's cognitive and emotional development. On pages 30 and 31, they provide lists of age-specific nature-related activities for children. Finch and Loza explain the connection between immersion in nature during childhood and the decision as an adult to serve as a steward of the natural world. They discuss the importance of unstructured nature play, along with the design of natural playscapes. The publication also addresses safety and liability concerns.
Finch, Ken, and Andrew M. Loza. Nature Play: Nurturing Children and Strengthening Conservation Through Connections to the Land. Harrisburg: Pennsylvania Land Trust Association, 2014. Copyright 2014 Pennsylvania Land Trust Association.
This collection of resources provides inspiration and strategies for teachers to support outdoor learning opportunities.