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C&NN Natural Teachers Network


C&NN Natural Teachers Network

Welcome to the virtual gathering place of the Natural Teachers Network. A Natural Teacher is any educator who uses the natural world as a powerful learning environment—whether the subject is biology, writing, art, or any other.

Website: http://www.naturalteachers.org
Members: 371
Latest Activity: Apr 15

Every teacher can be a Natural Teacher.

Think of this forum as a break room full of your peers ready for a conversation, a place where you can share ideas and ask for suggestions, where you can be engaged, creative, and encouraged. The subject: How to use the natural world as a classroom to improve your students’ health and well-being, including cognitive ability and attitudes toward learning. The objective: Inspire action, individually or in groups.

Like any meeting place where diverse opinions and concerns are shared, the discourse here must be civil. For further guidance on the “rules of engagement,” please see a set of Frequently Asked Questions located at http://childrenandnature.ning.com/page/frequently-asked-questions.
The goal of the Natural Teachers Network and this website is to encourage more teachers to connect their students with nature and to provide a forum where Natural Teachers can share their knowledge and views. Collectively, Natural Teachers can have a profound impact on improving the lives of children, and, in some schools and communities, that is already happening.

Please participate actively, and encourage others to join. Get together face-to-face as well.

You'll find tools and resources on the Natural Teachers Network home pages and throughout the larger Children & Nature Network website.

The Children & Nature Network Leadership Team will monitor this NTN Group web site from time to time, to respond to ideas and encourage action. Thank you for your commitment to children.

Discussion Forum

Puerto Rico: Sea Turtle Nesting and Immersive Ecology and History

Professional Development Opportunity for Teachers, Students, and Passionate Conservationists!  Sea turtle nesting in Puerto Rico -- a unique and privileged opportunityHi--I am a mother of two young…Continue

Started by Kimberly Marshall McLean Mar 3.

Infants and toddlers in nature 2 Replies

Hello. I am a 5 star  licensed family child care home provider in NC. I believe in letting even the youngest child explore nature. Infants and toddlers learn through their senses and nature is such a…Continue

Started by Vanessa Taylor Gilliam. Last reply by Vanessa Taylor Gilliam Jan 6.

Music and the outdoors 7 Replies

I'm wondering if  you know of any resources connecting music to  the outdoors ?Continue

Started by Kari. Last reply by Vanessa Taylor Gilliam Jan 6.

printable kiosk materials

Hello, All.I am searching for printable enviro ed materials geared towards the general public, for posting in a series of information kiosks.  Specifically, 1 or 2 pagers--containing seasonal…Continue

Started by Eric gehring Dec 23, 2014.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of C&NN Natural Teachers Network to add comments!

Comment by Jacob Francis on March 9, 2012 at 6:51am

This could be a great citizen science opportunity for some of us!


Comment by Amy Butler on March 5, 2012 at 10:38am

Thanks John and Jacob for your replies! I plan to attend the mapping workshop in March.

Comment by Jacob Francis on March 2, 2012 at 6:39am

Amy and John,

We do some mapping with our middle school students.  They use topos to look for and predict streams, and use infrared aerial photographs to make predictions about vegetation.  We also have them explore maps in Google earth, and add student generated data to the Google earth maps.  Here is a screen shot of some of the Goggle Earth mapping.

Comment by John Thielbahr on February 21, 2012 at 2:58pm

Hi Amy,

Great post.  I have sent out an email asking for anyone who has this experience with mapping.  One reply so far wanted you to know that David Sobel is doing a workshop on mapping at Antioch U. New England, Keene, NH on March 31.  I will pass on more when I get it.  Mapping in place-based learning is a terrific learning tool.  Keep us posted on your success with it.  John

Comment by Amy Butler on February 21, 2012 at 12:19pm

Hi !

Looking for anyone doing map making with children based on experiences they've had outdoors in their communites. I am hoping to hear some stories of place based learning projects with mapping as a focus. I have David Sobel's book, Mapmaking with Children. I'd just love to see some photos and examples of similar projects from elsewhere!

Comment by Suz Lipman on February 21, 2012 at 11:33am

Hi Folks, The Network for NJ's Afterschool Communities is offering a FREE webinar tomorrow 2/22 11AM ET:

Children and Nature: Perfect for Afterschool.


Comment by Corine Anderson on February 7, 2012 at 9:38pm
Comment by Kari on February 2, 2012 at 1:18pm

Hi everybody,

I just started a new topic on my site that I think should be of interest for educators.

I'm sharing my nephew's outdoor time in his new daycare in Norway.

 My sister and family lives in Oslo, Norway where she has two kids and is a lawyer by trade. Right now she is on maternity leave with her baby. Her son just started to go to Orion Daycare in the middle of downtown Oslo. In Norway about 90% of kids spend time in daycare starting around the age of 1 one year old. Many of the daycares offer program that focus on outdoor play and friluftsliv (Norwegian word for outdoor living).

The ‘Norwegian child' should live an active and outdoor childhood. Strong emphasis is placed on the relationship between young children and their wider environment, in particular the outdoor environment and more generally, with nature. Apart from being fun and healthy, being outside throughout the year is about learning to live in and with strongly demarcated seasons and extreme weather conditions... In short, being active and outdoors is both an issue of health and an issue of value, or identity”. -OECD Norway country note, 1999

Every week I want to share with you news from my sister’s and son’s experience at Orion Daycare in Oslo. A very typical daycare located in urban Oslo that focuses on outdoor play and friluftsliv (Norwegian word for outdoor living).

Here is the link : http://www.activekidsclub.com/fresh-air-living/feature/orion-daycar...

Comment by Suz Lipman on January 30, 2012 at 12:00pm

Hi All, I'm passing on a classroom opportunity from National Park Trust.  National Kids to Parks Day, a nationwide day of play, is set for May 19.

In conjunction, NPT is sponsoring a national classroom contest designed to inspire children to create their own KTP Day event. The theme of this year's contest is "Explore outdoors, the parks are yours!" NPT will award scholarships in the amount of $250, $500 or $1000 to winning entries. Deadline for entries is Thursday, March 1st. Winners will be announced Monday, March 19th. For contest details and a full listing of national partners visit www.kidstoparks.org .

You can read more about National Kids to Parks Day here:

Comment by Carmen Field on January 30, 2012 at 12:11am

Hi Tina,

I'm so glad there's a conversation going on here about mud play! I've loved reading everybody's ideas and suggestions for more info. I've just sent via email to you a summary of how Mud Games at The Wallow began in Homer, Alaska along with a couple flyers from past Mud Games events. I'll post our summary here, too,  in case anyone else might be interested in how a permanent mud play space was created and then used in our town. Our planet needs more mud wallows...and not just for elephant seals :)





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