Well, if you are a New York City teacher and you are reading this: congratulations on finishing five days with your students! It’s now the second week of school, you know your students’ names, you’ve introduced routines and rules, you are working on diagnostics, and thoughts are turning to curriculum planning.
Whether the schedule says that you teach science or not, all teachers can be science teachers. After all, science is simply the practice of asking questions about the world, making predictions, and then testing those predictions.
If this is a new subject for you, here are some great, preliminary resources for teaching about nature and the environment to help you think about how to incorporate this curriculum into your classroom. Following the book image will take you to a library entry for the book!
- Discovering Nature with Young Children: Part of the Young Scientist Series by Ingrid Chalfour; designed for teachers with students aged 4-8, an introduction to how to teach from nature. The book focuses on ongoing projects, like growing a terrarium, and some of the inquiry questions you would ask along with such a project.
- Nature at Your Doorstep: Real World Investigationsby Carole G. Basile, Fred Collins, and Jennifer Gillespie-Malone; this book features simple scientific activities focused on ecology for grades K-3. This is another great resource for the teacher who is looking for general activities focusing on animals, plants, and all things natural.
- Everything Kids’ Environment Book: Learn how you can help the environment-by getting involved at school, at home, or at play by Sheri Amsel; a wide-ranging book for a teacher just starting environmental education. It continues numerous environmental activities and clear content explanations. This is the book for when you are ready to help students get past the basic “you should recycle” and on to some more complex environmental thoughts.
What books would you recommend to fellow teachers? What books have you found helpful in planning to teach nature, sustainability, or science in general?