Teacher Resources

National Wildlife Federation®
Be Out There - www.BeOutThere.org  

National Wildlife Federation’s Be Out There public education campaign is aimed at informing and educating American parents about the importance of children having more outdoor time on a regular basis and how to make that happen. NWF’s initiatives include working with state and federal level policy-makers to advocate for the strengthening of environmental education programs and unstructured outdoor playtime.
A school readiness guide for teachers and parents

Back to School shouldn't mean back indoors for children. In fact, National Wildlife Federation's new report TIME OUT: Using the Outdoors to Enhance Classroom Performance highlights the vast research linking time kids spend outside to increased classroom preparedness. American's childhood has largely moved indoors in the past 15 years. The increasingly indoor lifestyle causes several factors that work against high performance in the classroom.

The guide on school readiness, authored by NWF's Kevin Coyle, is for teachers and parents alike and includes tips on how to provide fun and valuable outdoor experiences for kids, even with their busy school-year schedules.

Read the full report TIME OUT: Using the Outdoors to Enhance Classroom Performance here.
The Big Help Grant Program
Throughout 2010, Nickelodeon will award $1M in grants to elementary and middle schools and community organizations, enabling kids around the country to achieve the goal of a million acts of help.

Get To Know Your Wild Neighbors Contest - For over ten years this pogram encourages youth to "get to know their wild neighbors." The contest inspires youth to discover nature, express themselves creatively, and learn to care for the environment through art, writing, and photography.

Ranger Rick Educators Guide - Ranger Rick® magazine is a great tool for building nonfiction reading skills and conceptual science understanding in children.

Outdoor Family Fun Guide - Download this brochure of great take-home activities for students to share with their families The brochure includes easy-to-do projects such as creating a pinecone birdfeeder, tode abode and bird bath.

Wildlife University - A fun, interactive way to learn at your own pace about endangered species and creating wildlife habitats.

Youth Service/Community Service Project Ideas - Learn about fun and meaningful programs for youth or community service.
Schoolyard Habitats® Resources

Creating Schoolyard Habitat Sites: A How-To Guide  
Certify Your Schoolyard Habitat with NWF  
Frequently asked questions about Schoolyard Habitats®  
Schoolyard Habitats® lesson plans
Ideas for where to get help for your schoolyard habitat in your community
"The Schoolyard Habitat Movement: What It Is and Why Children Need It"
"Down By the Schoolyard" by Stephen R. Coffee
Funding Resources

The Big Help Grant Program "Million Dollars for a Million Moves" - Throughout 2010, Nickelodeon will award $1M in grants to elementary and middle schools and community organizations, enabling kids around the country to achieve the goal of a million acts of help. The Big Help Grant Program will support projects that inspire kids to (1) take care of the environment; (2) lead active, healthy lives; (3) engage in community service; or (4) improve their educational experience. The deadline to apply is December 31, 2010.

America the Beautiful Fund, Operation Green Plant - Provides grants of flower, herb and vegetable seeds.

National Gardening Association - Provides in-kind grants for school and youth gardens.

Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Education Grants - Grants to support projects that enhance the public's awareness, knowledge and skills to help people make informed decisions that affect environmental quality.

NEA Foundation Green Grants  - Public school educators are eligible to apply for individual grants worth up to $5,000 for the development and implementation of ideas, techniques, and approaches for teaching “green” concepts.

Learn and Serve America  - Supports grant programs to integrate community service with curricula through service learning.

Wild Ones, Lorrie Otto Seeds for Education Grant Program - Gives small monetary grants to schools, nature centers, and other non-profit and not-for-profit places of learning with a site available for a stewardship project.

Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation  - Supports public education and community improvement projects.

National Environmental Education Foundation  - Provides grants to support environmental education.
Connect with Nature the Local Way
Here's something you might not know about the new Nature Explore classrooms. The Nature Explore concept is homegrown. And it's catching on elsewhere in the country.   Read about this endeavor here.
The Nature Explore outdoor classroom planned at an Elementary School will double as school classrooms and a community park.
Thank you for your patience while we develop this site.
"Today's children are the first generation to grow up plugged into electronic media and isolated from nature." ~National Wildlife Federation
To inspire the next generation of environmental stewards we need to reconnect children to the outdoors, and help them to learn about nature, wildlife, science and what they can do to make a difference in their world. To learn how you can make a difference, visit here.
Additional Resources

National Gardening Association - Learn about Youth Gardens that encourage children to make good food choices, build a love of nature, stimulate social interaction, facilitate cultural exchange, and more. 

Get to Know Society - An organization that works to increase students' connection with nature. Offers lesson plans for teachers.

US Fish and Wildlife Service Educators' Page  - This site offers curriculum resources and activities, ideas for community service projects, professional development opportunities, and more.

US Forest Service Kids in the Woods  - Learn about the US Forest Service's programs to bring kids to nature—and nature to kids.

American Forest Foundation, Project Learning Tree  - Find environmental education resources for educators, including activities and curricula.

Project Wet - Find water education resources for educators.
Related Resources for Educators


ECO-SCHOOLS USA - Green your school inside, outside and throughout your curriculum! Join 47 other countries in this international initiative designed to encourage whole-school action for the environment.

Register your school as an Eco-School!

     We offer educators ways to engage students and parents in learning about climate change and what they can do at home, at school and in their community to make a difference.
     College students, professors and administrators can join together to improve their own campus to create a greener future.
     Keep up to date on the latest research, studies and information about environmental education for the classroom and beyond.
Jackson Kettel, 12, a student at Westgate Elementary School in Edmonds, works in the school's outdoor forest classroom.
Forest turned into classroom

Students at an Elementary school helped turn an undeveloped swath of forest into an outdoor classroom for future students.

Fourth- through sixth-graders at Westgate Elementary School have spent the last few years turning unused land on campus into their own dream habitat to help them and their peers learn about native wildlife. Read more about how they turned a forest into a classroom here.