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Project Learning Tree
An award-winning environmental education program for PreK-12 formal and non-formal educators, Project Learning Tree is designated for all educators, youth leaders and naturalists. The materials are available through PLT workshops lead by certified instructors.
Project Learning Tree: PreK-8 Activity Guide
The Project Learning Tree PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide includes nearly 100 activities in a story-line technique covering themes of diversity, interrelationships, systems, structure and patterns of change.
- To develop students' awareness, appreciation, skills and commitment to address environmental issues.
- To provide a framework for students to apply scientific processes and higher order thinking skills to resolve environmental problems.
- To help students acquire an appreciation and tolerance of diverse viewpoints on environmental issues and develop attitudes and actions based on analysis and evaluation of the available information.
- To encourage creativity, originality and flexibility to resolve environmental problems and issues.
PLT Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood
Exploring nature is a complete sensory experience, and early experiences with the natural world have been positively linked with the development of children's imaginations and their senses of wonder and curiosity - important motivators for lifelong learning! PLT's Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood encourages children to explore, discover and communicate in expressive ways, and provides an introduction to environmental education at a key developmental period in children's lives.
Developed with preschool educators and early childhood specialists, the guide is designed for educators who work with children ages three to six. It offers more than 130 experiences that engage children in outdoor play and exploration. Topics include exploring nature with five senses, meeting neighborhood trees and experiencing trees through the seasons. An accompanying CD features music from children's musician Billy B. Brennan that encourages children to sing, dance and move.
Project Learning Tree: Secondary Education Modules
PLT also provides secondary-level modules. These issue-oriented activity guides help students investigate environmental issues, such as forestry and forest ecosystems, as well as build critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Secondary modules include:
- Exploring Environmental Issues: Focus on Forests
- Exploring Environmental Issues: Place We Live
- Exploring Environmental Issues: Solid Waste
- Exploring Environmental Issues: Focus on Risk (biotechnology)
- Exploring Environmental Issues: Biodiversity
- Global Connections: Forests of the World
Schedule a workshop
How to arrange a workshop in your community
Anyone can host and attend a workshop! Select a local teacher, nature center staff member, scout leader, parent or you, as a local coordinator to make workshop arrangements.
- Contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 715-346-4854 to find the nearest instructor.
- Select a workshop date and location. Locations should allow for using the outdoors as a classroom.
- Market the program locally and recruit a minimum of 10 participants.
- Workshop coordinators receive one FREE enrollment to the workshop that they help organize.
- Requires less travel.
- Provides opportunities to emphasize local resources.
- Can be targeted to specific grade levels or groups.
Other Workshop Options
- Register for a scheduled workshop
Project Learning Tree K-8 (6 hours) - $25
Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood (2 hours) - $25
Graduate credit can be arranged for combined courses upon request.
Supplemental Workshop Resources
Secondary PLT Modules - $15
Project Learning Tree and Green & Healthy Schools are working together to provide Wisconsin schools with a valuable service learning and leadership program. Training and resources are available to assist schools.
PLT's GreenSchools! program, in partnership with the US Forest Service, and the Corporation for National and Community Service, provides a blueprint for educators, students, environmental and health advocates, school board members, parents and interested community members to teach, learn and engage together in creating a more green and healthy learning environment at their school. It combines environmental education, service learning and leadership opportunities for students to help turn their school into a model green school.
Resources for educators
- Correlations to State & National Academic Standards
- Head Start Correlations
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
- Girl Scouts
- Boy Scouts
- FOSS Kit
- The Private Eye
- Wisconsin Regional Planning Commissions
- Maps & Aerial Photos
- Landscape Maps
- Land Legacy Program
- Forest planning
- Wisconsin Chapter of the American Planning Association
- Environmental cleanup & brownfields redevelopment
Earth and Sky
Earth & Sky produces short daily radio shows on a range of environmental topics. Each segment opens with captivating music and the smooth voices of hosts Deborah Byrd and Joel Block. In just 90 seconds, Byrd and Block usually interview a scientist or resource manager on the air and always explain the day's topic in easily understood language.
Earth & Sky partnered with PLT in 2002 to correlate Earth & Sky's educational radio shows with PLT's learning materials and activities. Visit the national PLT website for connections by activity.
Become a trainer
Trainer = facilitator
A facilitator is someone who is certified to conduct program workshops. Facilitators help workshop participants, usually educators, gain an understanding of how to use the Project materials. Facilitators involved workshop participants in activities so they will become familiar with the materials and use them after the workshop to educate students in grades PreK-12.
Primary facilitator responsibilities
- Attend a facilitator training for the program you want to facilitate.
- Conduct at least one workshop per year to remain an active facilitator.
- Structure a positive, hands-on workshop experience that allows each member of the group to participate in activities, motivates each participant to use the program materials in his/her educational setting, and so far as possible, achieves each person's reason for being at the workshop.
- Complete and submit all necessary workshop paperwork.
- Collect and submit payments within the designated timeframe following a workshop.
- Participate in continuing facilitator education events.
- Promote and present the program information locally to the best of your abilities.
To adequately perform the above responsibilities, facilitators need to:
- be objective and knowledgeable in your presentation of the materials and in environmental education
- be motivated and able to dedicate the time to organize and conduct high quality workshops in your area
- have speaking and teaching skills adequate to conduct interactive and engaging workshops
- show enthusiasm in environmental and conservation education to inspire others to use the course materials.
- Become trained in the program you want to teach and become familiar with the materials by using the activities with a variety of audiences.
- Submit an application.
- Potential candidates will be contacted to attend a two day training session.
- Alternatively, potential candidates may be trained through an approved mentorship option.
- Once a facilitator has been trained, she or he will receive a certificate and be ready to conduct workshops.
- To remain in active status, certified facilitators must use their training and conduct at least one workshop per year.