Going on a hike while someone lectures at you is un-engaging and dare we say boring, so in our forest ecology lesson kids work in small groups and use a dichotomous key to learn to identify plants and understand their different characteristics. By working on their own they’re gaining valuable critical thinking and logic skills while also learning to appreciate our plant diversity.
Our goal is for all of our programs to be investigation style lessons that teach our students how scientists approach real world problem solving. Students respond enthusiastically to this approach, and even get some friendly competition going between Earth Stewards schools to see who can identify more plant species or the most unusual seed dispersal technique. The incredible ecosystems of our national forest and wildlife refuges provide the inspiration to discover!