Another program we attended in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was called Oconoluftee River Treasures led by Ranger Amber. (We also were on the night hike that night with Rangers Amber and April but it was too dark for me to take any photos.) You can view my pictures on Flickr HERE.
As we walked along the river, Ranger Amber talked about the treasures we find here. At one point she even pulled out animal furs for everyone to touch which was a big hit, especially with the children. She also talked about the birds that we might hear. At one stop, we discussed the ways that water was used and how important it was to the families that lived in the area. Sometimes we take water for granted and it is programs like this that remind us how valuable this resource is.
This would be a great activity to do with students in the classroom to help them appreciate the environment around them. I would take my class on a nature walk and have them look for treasures around them. Every few minutes, I would stop and let them make a list of the treasures that they find using their senses. I might even take photos of ones that are really exciting to the students for future use such as a writing prompt or a science research prompt. We might even do this nature walk once a month to see if there are different treasures that could be found at different times or seasons. This list of treasures could be displayed in the classroom.
What other activity would you suggest to help students learn to appreciate their environment? Please share.
Original photo by Pat Hensley