Project Learning Tree Instructs Teachers About Nature
Trees of all shapes and sizes surround those of us who live in Minnesota. However, most teachers aren’t well-versed in the world of forestry.
That’s where Project Learning Tree comes into play.
“I want to bring more nature into my classroom,” said Jamie Terry, a teacher from SciTech Academy in Richfield.
“This learning experience is quite unique for me,” Terry said. “It’s my first time taking some seminars on bringing more nature into the classroom, and I’m really excited to try it out.”
The DNR leads the local Project Learning Tree effort. Saturday’s workshop educates teachers on how to incorporate the natural world into their lesson plans.
Project Learning Tree gets teachers outside exploring
“We want to get kids outside and comfortable and exploring and enjoying nature,” said Alexa Swan, a Project Learning Tree volunteer. “Their teachers need to be outside and exploring, and enjoying, learning from each other, collaborating.”
Throughout the course of the day, the teachers take part in a variety of activities.
In one case, some of the teachers wear blindfolds and use their sense of touch to familiarize themselves with a specific tree.
Several minutes later, they take the blindfolds off to see if the tree matches what they imagined.
One day, their students might do a similar activity at their respective schools.
“I really like this activity, actually,” Terry said.
The hope is that teachers can use these activities to teach basic academic subjects. In the process, students might just develop a love of nature.
“Oh I think [students] will love it,” Terry said. “They will. They will absolutely love to come out and just look at trees.”
All Project Learning Tree participants receive an activity guide with lesson ideas that teachers can do in the classroom, schoolyard or forest at any time of year.