Environmental Education – At Home Edition
Posted: April 1, 2020
As the voice of our forests, Forests Ontario is always looking for ways to support environmental education and awareness, at school and at home. School’s out, indefinitely and a little earlier than expected, but students still need to continue their educational journey. Luckily, there are ample opportunities for educational learning at home, indoors and outdoors!
We’ve compiled a collection of our favourite lesson plans, activities, and webinars about our forests for you to explore. You’ll find resources for independent play and study, and some that require instruction and supervision, but they are all modifiable.
Grade K to 3 Lesson Plans
Life as a Tree: Learn about the significance and function of tree rings, cambium and heartwood, and create a ‘tree ring of your life.’
Land Art: Learn about the natural world through the creation of land art (a movement of art that uses primarily natural materials of the Earth) and identification of materials used in land art creations.
The Eco Buddy System: Explore a sense of community and demonstrate an awareness that animals and plants depend on their environment to meet their basic needs.
Seed Germination: Explore seed germination and the needs of trees through a series of experiments.
Not All Plants Are Created Equal: Discover that trees are specialized plants by observing, comparing and studying the different characteristics of trees in order to assist with tree identification.
Grade 4 to 6 Lesson Plans
Invent a Forest Creature: Understand and appreciate the concept of an ecological niche within the forest community by identifying the needs and habitats of a particular plant or animal.
BEAN: Ontario’s Backyard Birds: Explore bird classification and assess biodiversity in different habitats, design bird feeders to appeal to a specific species, and participate in a citizen science program.
Drawing the Seasons: Explore seasonal changes in nature through art.
Trees at Home: Explore the distribution of trees in Ontario and the adaptations of tree species to different environmental conditions.
Nature Bingo: Take or find a picture of these pieces of nature to get five in a row for bingo!
Nature Word Search: Find & define these words in this word search to learn more about our environment!
Tree ID Pocket Guide: Use this handy pocket Tree ID guide on your next walk outdoors!
Leaf it to Memory: Improve tree identification skills using distinguishing characteristics with these memory cards.
Invasive Species Word Search: Find the invasive species in this word search!
Scavenger Hunt: Observe and collect pieces of your local forest.
Tree ID Word Search: Find the tree species and identifying characteristics in this word search!
50 MTP Colour Sheet: A good ole-fashioned colouring sheet!
Tree Grab Bag: Learn the anatomy of a tree with this DIY grab bag!
Climate Change: The Need for Action (Webinar): An introduction to global and local climate change including the impacts climate change has on lands, soils, forests, wildlife, and water.
Food Systems and Climate Change (Webinar): Explore how our food system is both a main contributor to climate change but also a potentially significant solution, identify how to help solve the climate crisis.
Let it Bee: Conserving Wild Bees (Webinar): The importance of pollination, wild bee biodiversity, threats to bees and how the public can support bee species at-risk of extinction.
Climate Change in Ontario (Webinar): A 2017 discussion with Environmental Commissioner, Dr. Dianne Saxe, on how much climate change is already affecting Ontario; Ontario’s current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; and what the provincial government is doing to reduce emissions.
Get the Dirt on Soils (Webinar): An introduction to the importance of soil in our daily lives.
Bird & Wildlife Monitoring (Webinar): A discussion of methods commonly applied to wildlife for environmental monitoring, actions taken to protect or improve bird habitat, and how everyone can help monitor wildlife through phone apps and volunteer and citizen science opportunities.
Soil Texture (Webinar): An overview of soil texture and its importance as a soil physical property.
Reading a Soil Profile (Webinar): Using visual interpretation skills to identify soil horizons and parent materials in a variety of soil profiles.
Second Nature: Biological Emulation (Webinar): Explore biomimicry and the way that nature is transforming the way we think, behave and create.
Farming Practices: Value of Healthy Soil (Webinar): Learn about what soil health is and how to improve soil health for future generations.
Sustainable Forest Management: Learn about different parts of sustainable forest management.
How Much Wood do you Chuck: An estimate of how much wood we consume on a daily basis!
Different Forests, Different Management: Learn about the differences in forest management across ecologically diverse Ontario.