Literacy, the Environment, and Our Power to Better Protect All Living Things

Student Engagement Program

NATURE-WISE blends literacy (reading, writing, speaking, singing, rapping, clapping, and toe-tapping, and art-making – yes, indeed!) with outdoor exploration and the fun theory.

NATURE-WISE helps students understand and practice, on creative levels, that we, human beings, are also included in the definition of the environment. We, too, are nature and from our earliest days, we practice literacy. And that opens a world of wondrous possibilities and opportunities to explore all the literacies -- as we explore the natural world, our place in it, and our power to better protect all living things.

With the NATURE_WISE Student Engagement Program, students will be treated to at least one of the following opportunities for one-time visits, and more based on a series of presentations:

• Explore human and wildlife literacies, the environment as a love story and a reason to say their names

• Engage with books that share paths for how to tap into our gifts, super-powers, and “somebodiness” as Dr. King explained, to explore our place in the natural world

• Engage with books that help students get hooked on reading and writing and the exploration of a variety of literacies

• Introduction to children’s literature on the environment and artistic responses to stories

• Explore and respond to stories of “belonging” in nature

• Explore the power of poetry to articulate feelings and observations about the environment

• Meet local, national, and global environmental champions through books and online resources

• Explore and evaluate wildlife (colors, shapes, patterns, textures, and behaviors of plants, animals, waterways, and humans) in our school and home neighborhoods; Create a neighborhood nature encyclopedia

• Address fears about being outside and about various forms of wildlife

• Create and play vocabulary games based on books and other literature

• Write class and individual letters to authors and environmental champions

• Create interview questions for environmental champions and authors

• Create artwork inspired by stories and the work of environmental champions