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: 417
Latest Activity: on Friday

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

No Child Left Inside 5 Replies

                                                                     Imagine what it would be like if every K-12 school across the country made environmental education (EE) an essential part of the…Continue

Started by Tamra Willis. Last reply by Sarah Navarro on Friday.

Workshop: Nurturing Our Children, Ourselves, and Nature

Dear All,    We are launching a new program supporting adult teachers and facilitators of nature and learning experiences. We begin with a workshop on October 7, 2017 in White Plains, NY:Nurturing…Continue

Started by LoraKim Joyner Jul 26, 2017.

Backpacking Wilderness Summer Camp Counselor Positions Available

Camp Unalayee, a non-profit wilderness summer camp for kids, ages 10-17 is looking for outdoor lovers who want to be backpacking Summer Camp Counselors. Come spend the summer in the beautiful Trinity…Continue

Started by Sarah Camp Feb 7, 2017.

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, 2016.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Lia Grippo on November 30, 2014 at 3:06pm

Dear friends,

After 23 years in the field and 16 years tending a forest kindergarten, allow me to present the Academy of Forest Kindergarten Teacher Training. With a combined 60+ years of experience, Kelly Villarruell, Erin Boheme, and I offer in-depth and experiential training in nature connection, woodland skills, and the art of mentoring in the context of early childhood development. Check it out. Offer feedback. Spread the word.

In gratitude,

Lia Grippo

Founder/ Lead TeacherWild Roots Forest School

Comment by Gerhardus John van der Merwe on October 29, 2014 at 5:29pm

Nice to meet you. John here. I started a children's club as an educational tool to help kids reconnect with their natural roots here in southern Japan. (CUBS children's club). I teach a variety of things to kids in the club, but nature is the best teacher by far and is the main focus of our studies. As far as I know this is the first children's club in this prefecture (Oita) and most probably the only one in the southern part of Japan! The club's structure is based on the natural hierarchy of wolves. Children enter the club as omega wolves and work their way up to alpha. (Junior members must learn to respect the older members. At the same time the senior members must realize their responsibility in leading the younger ones.) In Japan kids are suppressed by a dead educational system that severly stunts their physical and mental growth. I am implementing a variety of activities and studies in the children's club to help kids overcome some of the problems they face each day. I know I can keep in touch with people here who want the best for their children's future.

Comment by Kris Antonius on October 14, 2014 at 7:43pm

Hi all,

Excited to be here and connect. I already see so many amazing projects and people! My thing is creating resources for teachers and homeschooling parents to get their kids learning in and about nature. You can check out my site at 

Comment by Victoria Fortune on August 15, 2014 at 5:45pm

Hello fellow educators! I'm interested in finding collaborators/partners for e-book projects, or less specifically, anyone in need of illustrations or graphics specific to interpretation, nature, biology, or botany. I wish to connect here specifically because of my particular interests and experience in nature and outdoor education.

I have a certificate in Scientific Illustration from UCSC Extension and prior to that, a background in Environmental Studies and Natural History. I've been trained in ECE and Elementary Education (methodology, curriculum and developmental psychology).  

I'm a skilled fine artist with ability in a range of media, my favorites being watercolor and oil pastel. Portfolio samples and more about me can be found here. I also have experience creating vector illustrations, charts and maps. 

Please contact me if you have any interest or other suggestions. 

Thank you!


Comment by Dave Room on July 18, 2014 at 8:03am

Please check out my post Party in Nature with Your Students

Comment by Lia Grippo on June 30, 2013 at 11:36pm

Hi Stephanie,

Yes, this conference is open to anyone and everyone.  I'd love to see your workbook.  Please let me know if I can help you in any way to make it to the conference.


Comment by Stephanie Rach-Wilson on June 30, 2013 at 10:55pm

This looks great Lia. Is it open to anyone - we have our Natur-inspired, play-based learning Teacher's Workbook. I'd love to share it with you. I will check this out and see if I can come down to the conference.

Comment by Lia Grippo on June 30, 2013 at 8:59pm
Greetings Folks,
The 2nd annual Reaching Nature Connection conference provides a weekend of experiential outdoor learning for adults, developing skills, ideas, and new ways of seeing outdoor education for the young child.  The conference
presenters have over 60 years combined experience educating children in Nature's classroom.  
This conference helps educators and mentors deepen their own relationship with Nature and translate their wonder, curiosity, knowledge, and skill in the context of the magical world of the young child.
A storytelling workshop focused on guiding and
teaching through the art of telling tales has been added with a $30 discount for conference attendees.
Please join us and help spread the word!

For more information or to enroll, visit our


Early enrollment discounts end July 3rd.

In aticipation,
Lia Grippo

LeadTeacher and founder,  Wild Roots School>

Comment by Kari on June 25, 2013 at 9:19am

Hi all,

Here is a new e-book From Andrea Gordon and The Star.

Forest Kids:
Why the Modern Classroom is Moving Outside

By Andrea Gordon
Forest schools have long flourished in Scandinavia, Germany and Britain. They are places where children learn through free play, movement and hands-on experience in nature. Now, Canada is exploring the benefits of outdoor learning. Sangster Elementary in Colwood, B.C., launched its joyous Nature Kindergarten last fall, and now outdoor preschools, kindergartens and primary programs are popping up throughout that province, as well as in Ontario and New Brunswick. Why? Because there’s mounting evidence that nature enhances children’s health, learning and confidence while cutting down on behavioural issues. In Forest Kids: Why the Modern Classroom is Moving Outside, Star journalist Andrea Gordon conveys outdoor learners’ engagement and sense of wonder, and probes the fascinating science of nature’s effects on the brain and body of people young and old. But she also explores whether it's just a passing novelty or has real staying power.

Read more about it here :
Comment by Kelli Carmack on June 22, 2013 at 7:03pm

Hello everyone!  I would like to pass along a program that I am launching that may be of interest to you.  Please check out The 7th Generation School at

I spent many years as a teacher working with at-risk youth as well as those diagnosed with emotional and behavioral disorders.  I have also recently been a wilderness guide/substance abuse counselor for a wilderness treatment center for young adults.  For many years I have been formulating this program out of my constant question, "What can I do?"  This program is my answer and humble offering to the planet. 

The 7th Generation School is a supplementary program (to a regular or homeschool curriculum) that not only connects youth with the natural world around them but also with the natural world that exists within them.  It is a therapeutic wilderness program (and more) for youth who need something more than what the schools offer.  Our intention is to provide a holistic and eco-centered supplement to our youth so that they may become their vision and purpose in the world.

I hope we get to connect soon!


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