Environmental education takes a holistic and objective approach to inspiring youth to one day make informed, responsible decisions regarding ecological issues. This method goes beyond your field trip to the Cradle of Forestry in America Heritage Site or any other environmental education facility. Your trip to the Cradle helps reinforce NC curriculum standards but the real impact begins when they reach kindergarten and ends on their high school graduation day. Here we offer a few links for activities and classroom-friendly lessons you can do prior to and after your trip to Pisgah National Forest.
Pre- / Post – Trip Lessons and Activities
- Bee a Scientist Coloring Book (PreK-2)- This downloadable coloring book features a bee engaging in different types of science.
- Every Kid in a Park Pass (Grade 4)- Work with your students to earn their EKiP pass that gets them and their families in for free to hundreds of public land use sites across the country!
- Nature Science Investigator (Grades 4-8)- Introduces students to some of the scientists who work in outdoor environments.
- Letter to a Local Scientist/Environmental Group (Grades 4-6) – Have students find a local scientist or environmental organization that they can write a letter to with 4 questions they would like to ask. This lesson is adapted from Natural Inquirer’s Generic Lesson Plan page
- Nature Journaling (Grades K-8) – Have your students make a nature journal that they can fill in throughout the year. Examples of topics they can journal about can be found on the Project Learning Tree website.
- Google Earth (Grades 3-5)- Give your students a better sense of place and as they make their way through Pisgah National Forest to the Cradle of Forestry.
- Invasive Species (Grades 3-5)- This “Wooly Bully” monograph introduces students to an invasive species in our local environment and how it is impacting the flow of water. Doing this in the classroom setting corresponds well with the “Green Invaders” activity we offer at the Cradle, which highlights species of invasive plants.
- Global Climate Change issue, article “Flow down!” (Grades 6-12)- In this article, long term research based out of Coweeta offer a solution when forest management, climate change, and streamflow all intersect.
- Great Backyard Bird Count– Every February, Audobon puts on this citizen science project. You can work with a local partner to get your students involved in their own schoolyard. This activity goes along well with “Risky Business” offered here at the Cradle for Grades 4-6 that highlights neotropical migratory birds.
- Smokey Bear (Grades K-8)- Smokey Bear is the USFS fire prevention symbol. There are lots of activities that you can do with your kids in the classroom.