Thursday, April 12, 2012

An Online Nature Center for Kids

The Canterbury Environmental Education Centre is a nice resource for elementary school teachers and students. The main feature of the kids' pages is a series of nature exploration visuals. Nature Explorers offers simple virtual exploration activities that students can complete on their own or with some guidance from you.

In the Grassland, Woodland, Pond, and Plant Explorers students click on objects in the pictures to learn about the different parts of those habitats. The Dragonfly Challenges are a series of webquests through which students can explore the topics of biodiversity, rivers, ponds, and woodlands. The Eco Explorer section of Nature Explorers is built around the topics of recycling and eco-responsibility.

Applications for Education
The Canterbury Environmental Education Centre has a message on their site that they've stopped offering programs at the actual center. The web resources are still online and can still be used as part of classroom lessons about habitats and biodiversity. Since the materials are based on a specific location you might have students complete some of the virtual activities then take them outside of your school to see if they can find examples of the same things. If they cannot find them then you have an opportunity for discussion and lessons comparing habitats.

H/T to Fred Delventhal and his daily bookmark shares.