Information for Urban Teachers
Can you still participate even if you do not have access to nature areas?
YES! This project can be done in any school setting, even if you just have access to a paved parking lot. Here are a few suggestions if you are a teacher in an urban area and wish to participate in the project:
- Set up your squares (see lesson plans) on the sidewalks and in parking lots. Students will still find animals and plants (e.g.grass growing through cracks in the sidewalk) and obviously non-living objects to study. In fact, we are hoping that several urban schools will join the project so that other students can learn about urban environments.
- If you can, try and find a few grassy areas around your school building. Do a quick survey of the schools grounds one afternoon, you may be surprised to find several grassy areas in which you can set up your squares. If needed, you can reduce the size of your square so that you can place several in a small area.
- If you can arrange it, try and take a walking field trip to a nearby park or garden. You can set up your squares in this location and collect the necessary data from them. If traveling to and from your square is difficult try conducting all of the square observation work in one trip rather than over several weeks.
- For older students, have them conduct the project at home. This is a great way to get the parents involved.
Resources for Urban Teachers
Below are some text-based resources that you may find useful:
- BOOK: Teaching Nature in Cities and Towns : Urban Outdoor Biology and Ecology by Sonia Wolff Vogl, Robert L Vogl. Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
- BOOK: A Field Guide to Your Own Back Yard by John Hanson Mitchell. Click Here to Order from Amazon.com
Below are some Internet-based resources that you may find useful (don't forget to also explore the Reference Materials section):