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: 399
Latest Activity: Nov 21

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 Suz Lipman on August 8, 2011 at 12:09pm

This story will probably interest many of you: Secret Garden, Forest pre-school in Scotland:

Comment by Stephanie Rach-Wilson on August 4, 2011 at 10:28pm

John, I'd love to discuss this with you as we are about to release our seventh book in the Let's Go Chipper series. Everything is corelated meeting arts & literature, science, and social skills but delivered playfully to engage children.


We also go into schools and communities. Having numerous touch points to reinforce the message is very important and teachers are always amazed by how engaged kids are with our programs. I'd love to discuss - maybe there is a way to align with C&NN and create a proceeds back program??? I know we are due for a call - let me know if you're available. Cheers! Stephanie

Comment by Juliet Robertson on August 4, 2011 at 11:36am
Thanks. That would be much appreciated, John
Comment by John Thielbahr on August 4, 2011 at 11:28am

Hi Juliet,

I'll put you in touch with Anne Post directly via email.  I'm interested myself.  Cheers.  jt

Comment by Juliet Robertson on August 4, 2011 at 11:22am
Hi John

That sounds like an interesting piece of research. Is it possible to view it online anywhere? I have lots of different listmanias set up on UK Amazon on different nature themes. It's a guerrilla tactic to help chance visitors consider more out door and nature based themes. I'd give you a link except I'm writing this from my phone and not really used to doing this! Best wishes.
Comment by John Thielbahr on August 4, 2011 at 10:56am
Lori Kiesser's post on July 27 about the connection of Outdoor Education to career choices confirms a conversation I just had with Anne Post of the National Conservation Training Center (USFWS) who works in NCTC's Conservation Library and has been working hard on a children and nature literacy project.  One of her conclusions from new research is that career choices are not only influenced by Outdoor Education but also by reading nature-based books.  Check out her web site at .  Children's literacy is a huge issue for our country and is one reason The Children & Nature Network is starting an initiative to convince public libraries to include nature-based books in their children's literacy programs and include nature-based activities connected to the reading.  All Natural Teachers should get involved in this with their public and school libraries.  Also check out the C&NN "Where Nature Meets Story" on our web site for books and activities.  Cheers,  jt
Comment by Juliet Robertson on August 3, 2011 at 9:28am
Thanks Suz - it is interesting to read an international perspective. During July and August 2010 I wrote 10 blog posts about The Coombes School which may be of interest to readers
Comment by Suz Lipman on August 3, 2011 at 9:19am

Hi All - Thought this news story might be of interest:


Schools in England and Canada are creating green schoolyards and nature -based programs.

Comment by Mandy Tulloch on July 29, 2011 at 3:30pm
Hi All, just catching up on postings here. Re macro photography, Niall (pronounced Neil) Benvie in Scotland has come up with a fantastic method of taking the most beautiful images of animals up close and personal. It involves simple and cheap materials (plus a little skill!). Contact him at
Comment by Lori Kiesser on July 28, 2011 at 7:14pm

Outdoor Education: An Entry to Careers In Science and Math For Dive...


"Connecting kids with nature not only contributes to their physical, social, and emotional development (3), but it may also instill in them the enthusiasm to pursue a career in science or in another STEM field."


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