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: 394
Latest Activity: May 11

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

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.

Using the Schoolyard to Focus on Literacy Concepts 3 Replies

   I am very interested in exploring how the schoolgrounds are being used to develop the various skills and content that are included in a literacy curriculum. Too often we concentrate outdoor…Continue

Started by Herb Broda. Last reply by Tonya McLean Jun 30, 2015.


As I was reading a lot on C&NN for the last many years , I started my own campaign in Asia especially in Pakistan and some other South East Asian countries. Our program is all about connecting…Continue

Started by Erum. Last reply by Eleanor Walters Jun 19, 2015.

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Tamra Willis on September 2, 2010 at 9:14am
Hello Juliet: I have been reading these blog comments for some time, but your wonderful website and the Coombes School really motivated me to get into the discussion. I love the geology trail idea and wonder what it took to get all of those rocks in place. The site states that it took years and determination, but how did they acquire the rocks and what kind of equipment did they use to haul them there? We have some wonderful rock formations here in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and I would love to share the idea with other teachers.
Comment by Juliet Robertson on August 29, 2010 at 10:13pm
Hi Lynne

We have a similar stair case in Edinburgh outside Our Dynamic Earth. However the real treasure is at the foot of the steps and 10 yards to the the Caithness paving slabs is a fossilised fish that is unknowlingly walked upon by 100's of people.

Herb - The Coombes School welcomes visitors. The children and staff are used to having people tail their lessons and activities. The school is maybe 2 hrs west of Central London. Just go to their website and email them!

John - please do use any of the blog material in presentations. I think it's the beauty of a network is the sharing of ideas and resources.
Comment by Lynn Levine on August 29, 2010 at 3:48pm
Juliet- I just loved the trail. Very inspiring to see and learn what kind of rocks you have where are. Last month in California I walked the Ecological Staircase Trail which steps you through geological time. You'd love it. Once again, congratulations.
Comment by John Thielbahr on August 29, 2010 at 2:34pm
I think a visit with Juliet is on everyone's wish list, Herb. She is amazing. We need to figure out how to get her over here or us over there. Thanks Juliet. I will be using your material in a parent presentation I have scheduled for September in Spokane. Keep blogging and best wishes. jt
Comment by Herb Broda on August 29, 2010 at 1:53pm
Wow-- I just looked at your blog post including the photos and video about the Coombes School. What a beautiful example of a schoolyard enhancement that can be utilized in dozens of ways. Thank you so much for introducing this school to us. A visit there is definitely on my wish list!
Comment by Juliet Robertson on August 29, 2010 at 1:47am
Hi Everyone

I've just completed the final blog post about The Coombes School in England. It has the most amazing geology trail and I thought you might enjoy reading / watching it.

Best wishes
Comment by Herb Broda on August 19, 2010 at 7:21pm
Hi Deb-- The second book, Moving the Classroom Outdoors, will be a companion book to Schoolyard-Enhanced Learning Although I see outdoor learning as very appropriate for all age groups, PK-12, both of my books are aimed mainly at a k-8 audience. Moving the Classroom Outdoors will feature many examples of schoolyard enhancements that I saw when I visited dozens of schools around the US and Canada last year. Schoollyard-Enhanced Learning is designed as a handbook for teachers and schools that are interested in doing more with outdoor learning. It provides examples of activities, low cost/no cost site enahncements, rationale for taking students outside, etc. It is meant for the educator who is saying "I really like the idea of taking children outdoors for instruciton but I need some more background, information and ideas.
Comment by Deb "Tdeb" on August 18, 2010 at 8:05pm
Hello Herb,
What age group will your "second book" represent? Sounds very interesting.
Comment by Herb Broda on August 18, 2010 at 7:34pm
Thanks for the idea of a book club, Juliet. I would be glad to shepherd Schoolyard-Enhanced Learning through a discussion.
Would there be interest also in starting a discussion group focusing on how teachers use the outdoors for instruction? It could be useful to share enhancements that have been made to school sites to encourage outdoor teaching? I have many examples to share from my recent sabbatical and research for my second book Moving the Classroom Outdoors. It would be fascinating to hear about schoolyard enhancements that are being made by others around the world
Comment by Deb "Tdeb" on August 18, 2010 at 1:15pm

I hope this photo opens: spot the scat!
Nature Matters! Deb

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