One-Week Institute for Grades 3-8 Educators
Landscapes for Learning: A Natural Confluence of Science, Literacy, Mathematics and Place-Based Pedagogy
Communities and their landscapes — whether forests, farms, or streetscapes — provide context for the study of ecology, history, culture, and society. In a region that inspired revolutionary ideas, our MetroWest Region Institute participants learned to “read” the New England landscape, collected data from local forests and ponds, explored landscapes that have inspired a confluence of science and ideas for centuries, and learned effective strategies for using nature journals, science notebooks and other literacy tools in their classrooms. We spent a day exploring the diverse landscapes of Walden Woods with The Walden Woods Project, using Thoreau as our guide to learn about local habitats and the intersection of Walden Woods’ natural and social history. In historic Concord, we practiced a series of inquiry-based activities using artifacts and the evolution of the town’s center with the Concord Museum. At Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm, we explored how geography, the environment, and climate influenced and shaped the daily lives of people in the region for thousands of years to present day. Participants bridged their schools and communities by designing inquiry-based learning that connects students in meaningful ways to their local environment. Teachers collaborated with colleagues from across the region as they discovered engaging methods to engage with landscapes, past and present, while building skills in observation and evidence-based reasoning.
Partners: Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm Wildlife Sanctuary (Lead Institution), Concord Museum, The Walden Woods Project