John Himmelman has been “making up stories and scribbling pictures since I could hold a crayon in my hand.” At age 8, he started his first “Bug Club” in a friend’s garage. About the same time, in third grade, he wrote his first book—about bugs, of course. He wanted to be an entomologist and was eager to learn as much as he could about the little crawly things that surround us. . . .
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– by Sally Hodson, Ed.D.
Part 4: Explore & Experience
Planet Earth is home whether you’re a plant, an animal or a human. Our Earth is the only place in the universe we know for sure that can support life. So how do we prepare young people for the 21st century challenge of caring for our planet so that it can sustain future generations of plants, animals and humans? In short, how do we educate our kids to be eco-literate?
Think of this as learning the language of our planet. To be literate in Earth–speak, we need to understand how life on Earth functions and how we interact with it. And we need tools to help our heads to think, our hearts to feel, and our hands to act.
This month, we’ll add Explore and Experience to our Eco-Literacy Toolkit
Explore & Experience
I’m sitting on a whale-watching boat surrounded by a group of kids. We’re observing a family of killer whales swim past us. Our boat is stopped, with engines off to give the orcas space and quiet. We all hear the WHOOSH! of each orca breath. These orcas are familiar to us – they are part of Granny’s clan. One young orca leaps out of the water. Another slaps his tail against the surface with a loud crack. Without taking their eyes off the orcas, kids ask rapid-fire questions or sit enthralled by the magic of being so close to these majestic animals. On the return trip, we talk about how orcas live in the sea. Many of the kids draw pictures about their experience meeting this wild orca family. Most have decided to become marine biologists.
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