One of my earliest memories is of a warm day, a field with many grasshoppers, a shallow creek with cold water, and the joy of a day in the hills with my parents. My dad had gone fishing and I was free to wander about nearby. It was summer in the Gray Pines foothills of the Sierra Nevada, near Chico, California, where I was born. Along the creek I found a turtle! I had hoped someday to have one as a pet. I ran with the wondrous creature cradled in my hands to show my mom. I was enthralled with its bright eyes, the feel of its claws, and its cold body as it struggled to free itself from my grasp. So began a lifetime of connecting with nature.
And so begins this amazing book—an irresistible story of how one child fell in love with nature and your students can, too. Taking what he calls “a nature-centered worldview,” author Robert Stebbins
blends activities, examples, and stories with his perspectives on the importance of dealing objectively yet compassionately with social and environmental problems. As thought-provoking as it is charming, Connecting With Nature
• discussions of “ecological illiteracy” and the impediments that keep people, young and old, from bonding with nature;
• recommendations for establishing a nature-centered educational program and encouraging interest in nature at home;
• advice on doing accurate observations and field reports and understanding natural selection; and
• a captivating array of activities to capture the attention of students of all ages: imitating animal sounds, quieting lizards, tracking animals, photographing birds, and playing hide and seek with owl calls.
Even a quick glance through Connecting With Nature
will make you wish you could give your students the joy of a day in the hills with the author. Failing that, you can use his book to instill a love of nature in your students—and rekindle it in yourself.
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