Project Ideas: Natural Classrooms

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Here is a list of Project Ideas and Resources to help you create and complete your projects.
Scroll over a Project Title for more information.

Field Investigation

Project Ideas
Field Days
Set up field days with outdoor learning stations. Use local biologists and scientists to learn about wildlife and habitats. Example: LANDS workshop.
Wildlife Survey
Record evidence of wildlife in your schoolyard or nearby natural area.
Watershed Mapping
Identify and map your watershed.
Rain Run-Off Project
Measure rain run-off on a plot of land on your schoolyard. Then, plant that area with native grasses or construct a wetland habitat. Measure the run-off after the plants have matured.
Native Plants Survey
Identify native plants on your schoolyard or nearby natural area.
Monarch Watch
Participate in tracking migration of butterflies
Insect or Butterfly Survey
Compare insect abundance in a native plant garden to another garden on the school campus.
Garden as a Classroom
Provide instruction, guidance and learning experiences at a school garden or community garden

Stewardship

Project Ideas
Wildlife Citizen Science Project
Participate in a citizen science project that contributes to the understanding of native plants and animals
Waterwise Landscaping
Implement Native and Water-Wise Landscaping
Water-Wise Irrigation
Use irrigation techniques that take advantage of rain water and other natural sources of water.
School Wildlife Habitat
Create a school wildlife habitat. Put up bird feeders and plant native plants to attract birds and butterflies to your campus.
Erosion Prevention
Replant an eroded streamside with native plants.
Earth Friendly Announcements
Provide daily or weekly earth-friendly announcements to your school.
Earth Day Celebration
Participate in a local celebration of Earth Day or Earth Week by creating and manning a booth or leading an activity that highlights local natural resources.
Air or Water Quality Citizen Science Project
Particpate in a citizen science project that contributes to the understanding of local water or air resources.
Adopt a Park
Adopt a park, creek or trail that needs to be improved and design a project to make those improvements

Professional Dev & Leadership

Project Ideas
Youth Nature Training Partnerships
Develop a partnership with your local park, Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, or other orgnaization that will provide youth nature training
Student-led Outdoor Projects
Encourge youth and students to take the initiative to enhance and implement habitat projects and learning activities.
Student-led Nature Events
Host student-driven events that celebrate nature: Earth Day, National Trails Day, Clean-up events, etc.
Service Learning
Follow Service Learning process to investigate a local habitat need; create community partnerships; use youth voice and leadership; work to find and implement solutions. Reflect, share observations and discoveries, and celebrate your successes.
Professional Development
Attend a workshop on using nature, the environment and nature skills with curriculum. Examples include Project Learning Tree, ProjectWild, .
Nature Club
Sponsor a youth nature club, Boy Scout, Girl Scout, Campfire, 4-H or other group at your school, community center, park , etc.
Links to more Web Resources

Nature Curricula

Project Ideas
Nature Electives
Offer nature-related electives such as Environmental Science, Aquatic Studies and Marine Science.
Nature Field Trips
Take field trips as an integral part of the study of local natural resources.
Outdoor Classroom Lessons
Plan and implement lessons using the outdoors as a classroom at least 1 time a week.
Place-based Study
Math, social studies, science and language arts activities are integrated into the study of local plants, animals and water resources.
Using Nature in Core Subjects
Excite students with nature examples and natural settings as opportunities for learning concepts in core subject curricula.
Texas Parks & Wildlife
Texas Education Agency
Blue Cross Blue Shield
AMD
HEB
TASC Student Council
PTA
Texas Dept. of Agriculture
Texas Children in Nature
Texas Computer Education Association