Early Spring: Henry Thoreau and Climate Change

For Families & Educators

"Nature Journaling: A Page from Thoreau’s Book" Family Activity 

Thoreau’s passion for writing was rivaled only by his passion for walking! This family activity will instruct kids to create their own nature journal and fill it with observations from a nature walk, just like Thoreau did in the 1800’s. Kids can complete the nature walk and journal activity individually or with family or friends. Appropriate for ages 5-12.

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Henry Thoreau and Phenology

This elementary-school lesson asks: how does history apply to today’s science, and what is a citizen scientist? After an introduction to Thoreau, students will observe the natural world and report their findings on Project Budburst, a botany and phenology database website. Appropriate for grades K-5.

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"A Word for Nature": Creative Writing on the Natural World
Thoreau was careful not only in his observations of nature, but in the way he expressed his reflections on the natural world. This reading and creative writing lesson will help students of a wide age range develop their writing skills through personal reflection and the genre of nature writing. Appropriate for grades 6-12.

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Science in Thoreau’s Time
This lesson, particularly relevant to high school biology, environmental, or other science classes, gives students a concise introduction to the history of science in the United States during Thoreau’s time, and his role as a “citizen scientist.” In addition to providing historical context for scientific concepts, this lesson illustrates how scientific knowledge builds upon itself over the course of decades and even centuries. Appropriate for grades 9-12.

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Background photo credit: Cherrie Corey