Environmental Education

New Project Learning Tree Canada K-8 Activity Guide Now Available to Help Students Explore Their Outdoor Environment

August 22, 2023

Explore Your Environment: K-8 Activity GuideProject Learning Tree Canada (PLT Canada), an initiative of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), works to advance environmental education, forest literacy and career pathways, using trees and forests as windows on the world. SFI and PLT Canada are getting ready for the Back-to-School period with the unveiling of the newest environmental education resource in Canada, the Explore Your Environment: K-8 Activity Guide.

Research shows that every child benefits – academically, mentally, socially, and health-wise –when they learn outdoors. Young people, educators, and parents are increasingly interested in learning about nature and being outdoors.

This cutting-edge environmental education resource for educators offers a complementary curriculum guide to engage students in exploring their environment. The Explore Your Environment: K-8 Activity Guide includes 50 field-tested, hands-on activities that integrate investigations of nature with science, math, English language arts, and social studies. It is designed to bolster STEM learning, promote civic engagement, and help young people acquire the skills they’ll need to be creative problem solvers.

Here are some highlights from the new K-8 Activity Guide: 

  • In the Adopt a Tree activity, K-2 students select individual trees to observe over time, deepening their awareness of tree changes and developing a greater appreciation for their local environment. 
  • The Charting Biodiversity activity for grades 3-5 helps students explore the amazing diversity of life on Earth and discover how plants and animals are adapted for survival. This activity helps students understand why there are so many different species and teaches them the value of biodiversity. 
  • An activity for grades 6-8, If You Were the Boss, lets students play the role of forest manager for a public forest, exploring the complex factors that influence management decisions about forest lands.

“I am grateful to the educators, forest and conservation sector professionals, and Indigenous community members who helped develop content that incorporates Canadian species, places, and partner resources, along with the well-tested teaching strategies and experiential learning from PLT,” said Danika Strecko, SFI and PLT Canada Senior Education Manager. “I think the strength of this resource is that we collaborated with so many to incorporate credible and relevant Canadian content into our high-quality environmental education activities from PLT Canada.”

To further support educators, each activity displays explicit connections to curriculum frameworks, including CMEC’s Global Competencies and UN Sustainable Development Goals. The activities develop students’ critical thinking skills as they participate in inquiry-based learning, debate real-life environmental decisions, and engage with their community in action projects. 

“There is a role for everyone to play in ensuring our future is built on sustainability and innovation. That is why starting early and creating opportunities for students to explore and think critically about our environment is so essential. The K-8 Activity Guide is an ideal resource for integrating cross-curricular lessons in forest literacy and environmental conservation. It connects learning across grade levels and content areas,” said Dr. Reagan Flowers, SFI Chief Education Officer. “The guide provides engaging hands-on activities that are adaptable to meet each educator’s unique needs and provides a wide range of resources and background information to help educators create real-world, meaningful lessons that are applicable to all Canadian communities.” 

Educators, natural resource professionals, parents, and other organizations can obtain a digital copy of PLT’s Explore Your Environment: K-8 Activity Guide  for 20% off during our Back to School sale happening through October 21, 2023. Purchase directly from the  PLT Canada Shop and use coupon code B2S20 to get the e-book for just $21.59 (normally $26.99). You can also pre-order a print guide for $49.99 and receive a free digital copy. You can also try three free activities from the guide.

“PLT Canada is a tremendous resource for educators when it comes to teaching environmental education in a cross-curricular manner. Each activity and lesson are carefully designed to align with multiple curriculum areas such as science, language arts, social studies, arts education, and more. It helps me as a teacher to seamlessly integrate environmental education into my daily lessons and enrich the learning experience for students.”— Janet L., Teacher (British Columbia) 

PLT Canada invites you to explore the many other PLT educational resources that inspire a lifetime of learning, from our Climate Change & Forests online educational resource for high school educators to our Green Jobs: Exploring Forest Careers guide.

For more about PLT Canada’s Lifetime of Learning, contact PLTCanada@forests.org    


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