Nature-based Learning With Schools

Nature-based learning leads to improved wellness, community development, and future readiness. Rochester Ecology Partners works with schools to design and facilitate experiences that get everyone engaged with nature. We will work with your learning community to build a program that meets your needs. We can plan one field study for a class or develop plans that get everyone out of the building throughout the school year.

What is nature-based Learning?

Nature-based learning leads to improved wellness, community development, and future readiness. Rochester Ecology Partners works with schools to design and facilitate experiences that get everyone engaged with nature. We will work with your learning community to build a program that meets your needs. We can plan one field study for a class or develop plans that get everyone out of the building throughout the school year.

Why is nature-based learning important?

  • Healthy communication and improved reasoning skills
  • Improved emotional, mental, and physical health
  • Improved academic performance
  • Greater school, student, family, and community connections

The Services We Offer

We facilitate experiences that are rooted in nature, holistic, and aligned with learning goals. Our first priority is meeting the needs of the school community and we will work with you to build a plan that works.

Nearby Nature Lessons

One to two-hour curriculum-aligned experiences that provide students with direct experience with natural phenomena on or near the school grounds.

Community and Personal Development Experiences

One hour to full day experiences that lead to social and emotional development as well as a stronger community for students, faculty, and families.

Field Studies

Curriculum-aligned experiences within Greater Rochester that provide nature immersion connected to academic knowledge and wellness objectives.

Professional Learning

Opportunities for teachers to learn and grow as educators by engaging them in activities that build relationships to the natural world and each other

Working With Us

We have a variety of ways that we can support schools and teachers. After discussing your needs we will come up with a plan to make nature-based learning happen for your students. We ask schools to contribute resources to support the work and we have resources to make it possible for schools with limited resources to work with us.

    Inquire About NBL

    Questions can be sent to contact@rocecology.org

    Example Lessons and Field Studies We Can Lead

    SEL Lessons

    Collaborative nature art experience – students work together as a team to create a piece of art from nature
    Nature games – Play games to focus on class cooperation and decision-making.
    Sensory walks – Use your eyes, ears, nose, and hands to learn more about your surroundings. Focus on a specific sense to amplify the experience.

    ELA Lessons

    Nature writing – protocols for observing and writing about nature get students connected
    I Spy vocabulary – students explore the outdoors looking for and taking note of content-specific vocabulary words related to the outdoor experience. Students use these words to write a poem about their time outside.
    Creating maps and writing directions – students work in teams (or individually) to create a map of their school grounds, and then write directions about how to get to a specific location on campus.

    Math Lessons

    Counting on nature – Using materials in nature to create math expressions
    Collection math – Students explore and gather items from nature to sort and compare by different variables.
    Area, perimeter, diameter, radius – Use nature to learn more about measurement concepts, and use real-life examples to bring size to life!

    Science Lessons

    Environments and Survival – Seeking examples of how plants, animals, and other living things survive in urban and natural environments
    Needs of plants and animals – Studying the ways different living things get the things they need to survive and thrive
    Patterns of Earth and sky – Using observation and inquiry to understand how the movement of our earth affects the weather and climate

    Alignment With Standards

    Whether it is sitting under a tree writing a poem or building a reed raft to float across a pond it is easy to find ways these experiences are not only aligned with standards but are often superior ways to meet them. We strive to make sure activities align with not only content but culturally responsive and SEL standards.

    Standards Alignment

    • New York State Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Framework
    • New York State Social Emotional Learning Benchmarks
    • Common Core ELA standards
    • Common Core Math standards
    • Next Generation Science Standards
    • New York State Social Studies Framework

    We are grateful for our supporters

    Rochester Ecology Partners appreciates the support of our community. Our programs are made possible with support from businesses, individuals, and school communities. If you would like to contribute your time, talent, or treasure to our work please reach out or make a donation today.

    News From Our Work With Schools