Your Living Classroom

DSP_CITF_Photograph_SunsetWherever you live in the United States or around the globe, there are opportunities for students and teachers to use the local environment as a living classroom. Plants, animals, and habitats are brought to life when students are able to really see and experience them in a natural setting. By spending time outdoors, teachers and students can participate in engaging, hands-on learning that they might not get in the usual school setting.

For 2014, Clear into the Classroom’s environmental theme is water and waterways. We will be focusing on the balance between needing to protect our waterways and needing to use our waterways to promote economic growth and development around the world.

Water covers approximately 70% of our planet. Without it, plants, animals, and people wouldn’t be able to live. It is our responsibility to make sure that water stays clean and unpolluted, both for us and for future generations.

Syesha_turtle_100_0936Water is all around us: it’s above us in the air, and below us in the ground. Students can learn about the water cycle, freshwater vs. saltwater, how water can change geology through erosion, water quality, and so much more.

Using a local waterway as a living classroom is a great way to get students involved and interested in environmental issues and conservation practices. Whether you live near an ocean, a lake, a river, or even on top of a watershed, there is plenty for your students to explore.

You can even bring the outdoors inside by having plants and animals in your classroom. Students will learn the importance of water when caring for living things. Some plants only need to be watered once a week; others, once a day. Some animals have adapted to survive on minimal drinking water, while others need to live in water.

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