Natural Teachers

Welcome to the virtual gathering place for Natural Teachers. 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.

Members: 400
Latest Activity: on Monday

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

The goal 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 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

Music and the outdoors 8 Replies

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

Started by Kari. Last reply by Tara Lynn Von Dollen Sep 18.

ParkLAND Project Get Kids off the Playground and Into the Wild Corners of Local Parks

A new Raintree School initiative is afoot. And we're inviting everyone! From preschoolers to scouts, Missouri to Maryland, we'd like to…Continue

Tags: mapping

Started by Brandi Cartwright Aug 9.

BEETLES Project Releases New (free!) Resources for Outdoor Science Programs & Educators

Hi, Natural Teachers!BEETLES (Better Environmental Education, Teaching, Learning & Expertise Sharing) is excited to announce the launch of its …Continue

Tags: curriculum, student, activities, learning, development

Started by Jedda Foreman Jan 22.

Have an Ecoliterate Year!

Hi Folks,I wanted to share our new blog post with you. Have an Ecoliterate Year!(Warning: Compound sentences…Continue

Tags: outdoor, education, environmental, ecoliteracy

Started by Dwain Wilson Sep 10, 2015.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of Natural Teachers to add comments!

Comment by John Thielbahr on May 21, 2012 at 2:49pm

I am so pleased that Barbara Mascareno from Henderson, NV has signed up to participate in the Natural Teachers Network Group site.  Barbara is a bi-lingual nature educator, according to the profile she posted on this site.  C&NN is very interested in reaching every Spanish-speaking child about the importance of being in the natural world for health, well-being and enhanced learning.  Many of our tool kits have been translated into Spanish, and we are working on finding funding to produce a Natural Teacher's Tool Kit in English and Spanish.  Perhaps Barbara would like to help us with that project, and encourage other bi-lingual members of The Natural Teachers Network with understanding cultural nuances that we need to be aware of.  Also, I am sure Juan Martinez would be very excited to have Natural Leader referrals from Barbara and others.  My thanks to Barbara and all bi-lingual educators for your great work in connecting kids to nature.  jt

Comment by Suz Lipman on May 16, 2012 at 7:34am

TEST QUESTION: Will the next wave of school reform be better than the last one? Or worse? Read the latest blog from Richard Louv:

Comment by Suz Lipman on May 1, 2012 at 8:50am

Hello Natural Teachers and friends,

I know you will enjoy this very inspiring article about Leo Politi Elementary School in downtown L.A. which displayed markedly improved standardized test scores (by as much as 6 times in science) after a habitat garden went in:

Comment by Suz Lipman on April 27, 2012 at 11:31am

CONGRATULATIONS Chip Donahue, Natural Teacher and Nature Club for Families leader.*

Chip was just awarded Teacher of The Year for Roanoke County (VA) Schools. Way to go, Chip!

Here are two stories about Chip and the award:

*In addition to this accomplishment, Chip and Ashley Donahue run Kids in the Valley Adventuring, KIVA. Learn more about them through the Natural Families Network and Chip's blogs on this forum.

Comment by Suz Lipman on April 18, 2012 at 7:41am

Hi All. This should be of interest to those in the Natural Teachers Network:

NEW blog from Richard Louv: Thoughts Following the First-Ever White House Summit on Environmental Education.

Comment by John Thielbahr on April 16, 2012 at 2:09pm

Jan, this is a terrific blog and wonderful list of nature books.  I have sent it to our steering committee for the three pilot sites we are hoping to establish this summer with ACA and their Explore 30 summer camp reading program.  Any chance Emily could sign up on this site and start sharing her blogs directly?  If not, please continue to connect us with her.  Many thanks for sharing this link.  jt

Comment by Jan Hummer on April 16, 2012 at 1:04pm

New discussion starting with Emily Krall the director of BookTrails on the Connecting Children to Nature through American Literature Blog about Gwinna by Barabara Helen Berger.  Come and share your encounter with this book or others discussed earlier.

Go to to become a follower or add a comment. 

Enjoy - Jan

Comment by Larry Volpe on April 6, 2012 at 10:16am

I might go if the C&NN wants to sponsor me.

Comment by Larry Volpe on April 6, 2012 at 9:57am

Seems costs prohibitive for the community where I teach....I am doubtful scholarships will cover enough of the expenses.

Comment by Suz Lipman on April 6, 2012 at 8:28am

Here's a great opportunity for some of your students or the young people in your life:

Students entering grades 9-12 are invited to apply to attend the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service/Green Schools Alliance Sc3, the Student Climate Conservation Congress, this summer.

The mission of the Sc3 is to empower outstanding student environmental leaders to address conservation challenges and better serve their schools and communities.

Applications are rolling and open now. Scholarships are available. Spread the word!


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