Take note of the
grants program for teachers below. Deadline is coming up.
2014 Conservation and Education Grants Available (Deadline:
your nature center, land trust, local municipality, or other non-profit
have a conservation project that needs funding? Are you a teacher in need
of extra funding to take your students on field trips or do an
Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin's C.D. Besadny
Conservation Grant and Teachers' Outdoor Environmental
Education Grant applications are now available for small-scale
natural resources projects and programs that support the responsible
stewardship of Wisconsin's natural resources at the local level.
ranging from $100-$1,000 are awarded annually to projects or programs in
Wisconsin that benefit the public, involve management and restoration of
Wisconsin's natural resources, and/or contribute to knowledge about
Wisconsin's natural resources through education. Recipients are required to
match the grant award on a 1:1 basis with funds or in-kind services.
funded projects have included citizen-based monitoring in the Bad River
watershed, expanding hiking opportunities in southwest Wisconsin's savannas
and prairies, garden planting by Green Bay Area Public Schools to reduce
flooding and attract native species, and installing signage about wildlife
at the Tamarack Preserve in Waukesha County. In 2013, our Foundation
awarded more than $26,000 to 30 community partners across Wisconsin.
more information and to apply, please visit our website at wisconservation.org.
Applications must be postmarked by September 6, 2014.
Questions about the program may be directed to Caitlin Williamson at (866)
246-4096, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
The Natural Resources Foundation is a
statewide non-profit organization that raises private funding for publicly
owned lands and waters in Wisconsin. Our mission is to connect generations
to the wonders of Wisconsin's lands, waters, and wildlife.
Yesterday while I was teaching in Adam-Friendship, the insects where a major
find. Dragonflies, damselflies, grasshoppers, ants, wasps, bees, beetles, and
many other less identifiable specimens all push to be noticed. Children (and
adults) are drawn to insects some in disgust and some in awe. It is hard not to
look into the eye of an insect and not wonder how it views the world with so
many images coming at it.
Teaching the terminology, to identify, the concepts of life cycles, or the
social behavior of ants or bees can be fascinating to many. Since they are
always around us and often abound in numbers why not use them. No one has ever
developed a protocol beyond basic respect of a living creature to use them for
studies. So go for it. It could be a simple grasshopper collection. How many
what type of habitat are the most likely to be found in? What are their life
stages? How long does a life cycle take? Let the students pick and accessible
population and generate questions to answer? Let them figure out how to catch
or observe the principles they are looking to study? Let your students design
the study with you as a mentor or coach. I think that you will be amazed and
amazed at who steps up to work on this project. Enjoy the beautiful weather and
take care to notice the wonderful ballet of life exploding around you.
Insect Charades.pdfInsect Chardes sheet.pdf
Twist an Insect.pdftwist an insect 2.pdftwist an insect 3.pdf
Insectclopedia below has lesson plans for all ages and teaching types. Give
one a try and let me know if you find one that is particularly useful in your
classes. I used the Honey bees in a 2nd grade class with great
success, some are less hands on and inquiry then others but it certainly
addresses many possibilities. The High School Cockroach study facinates me and teaches lots of experimental design.
Lastly an activity I often do with students to help them understand the eye of an insect and what the world looks like through that eye.
By July, most songbirds are in the final stages of raising their young, but not the American Goldfinches.
These appealing, colorful birds are just getting started.
Notoriously late nesters, goldfinches have been waiting for the
thistles to bloom. When this happens in July, it signals the goldfinches
that they can start building their nests which are made primarily of
the silver fibers and down of thistle blooms. Generally, the nest is
built in the fork of a horizontal tree limb, 4 to 14 feet above the
The female builds a durable, neat cup of thistle and cattail fibers,
so dense that it will hold water. In it she lays 4 to 6 pale blue to
white eggs and then she incubates them for 12 to 14 days, until they
hatch. The attentive male often feeds his mate while she sits on the
By the time the eggs hatch, the thistle has gone to seed, which is
perfect timing for feeding young goldfinches. The parents nourish this
chicks by consuming the thistle seed themselves, and then regurgitating
the partially digested, milklike cereal into the mouths of their
nestlings. This is as close as birds come to mammals that feed their
young milk from mammary glands.
Baby goldfinches are fully feathered and out of the nest 10 to 16
days later. Almost immediately, they join their parents at bird feeders
across America. That’s when many people suddenly notice so many
goldfinches as the summer progesses.
Bird nest mini-lessons 2-6th grade
building bird nest activity upper elementary
A Tale of Lust And Death
These remarkable green and yellow flashing lights have a hypnotic effect
on people. Children in particular are drawn to fireflies. But the same
throbbing glow that attracts youngsters often leads male fireflies to
In warm-weather months, especially where open meadows and forests
coexist, the adult male fireflies of most species set out on mating
flights in the evening hours. The females, meanwhile, await their mates
in the foliage, blinking seductively. The task for each male is to find
an unmated female of its own species.
It’s critical that the female be unmated because in many firefly
species the females change through internal chemistry into male-eaters
once they successfully mate. Thereafter they use their blinks to attract
meals. Some females even imitate the idiosyncratic blinking patterns of
other species in an effort to attract as many unsuspecting males as
It’s a fly-eat-fly world out there!
Have you seen any fireflies yet?
Thank you to enature for this interesting tale.
Here are some things I am attending or would love to attend this summer, Any one else with a favorite if you could post in comments it would be appreciated.
Summer Biofuel Workshop at UW-Madison
Flyer Summer Biofuel Workshop.pdf
June 23-June 27 No Teacher Left Inside - Conserve School
This week of collaboration and in-depth
professional development held at Conserve School, Land O'
Lakes, WI features a two-day immersion workshop on Place-Based Education along
with a three-day institute featuring explorations in the use of technology for
professional learning and students projects, scientific inquiry, writing and
art in the outdoors, and outdoor skill activities. NTLI participants will
develop action plans that meet state standards and establish student learning
objectives while using the environment as a context for learning and teaching.
Register by May 31st
June 23-27. Citizen-based Monitoring in the Classroom.
UW-Waukesha Field Station, Waukesha.
Citizen-Based Monitoring in the Classroom
Join scientists and educators from the Department of Natural Resources for a week of citizen science. Learn about citizen-based monitoring programs from dragonflies to bird-feeders to stream health and how you and your students can get involved. Spend time in the field learning about monitoring programs adn identifying plants and animals. Inside, you'll experience classroom activities and discuss how to integrate them into your program. Teachers, as well as youth group leaders, are welcome.Location: UW-Waukesha Field Station, Waukesha, Wis.Cost: $50. Two free credits plus a variety of equipment will be supplied thanks to a generous grant from the Dutton Foundation.Contact: Carrie Morgan, WI DNR, (608)267-5239, Monday, June 23, 2014 - 8:00am to Friday, June 27, 2014 - 4:00pm
July 16-18. Stream
Ecology Field School. Trees for Tomorrow, Eagle River.
Field Biology Course
Are you interested in learning more about Wisconsin's streams and the life within them? Then consider joining us for Stream Biology Field Course - a three-day hands-on training opportunity for adults to learn more about local stream biology. Wisconsin experts will be joining us to teach you about native and exotic aquatic plants, mussels, fish, marcoinvertebrates, and more in this field-based and fun-filled event in the Northwoods on July 16-18, 2014. The event will be held at Trees For Tomorrow, a natural resource specialty school in Eagle River.
This event is intended for adult attendance, though teens are welcome if they are attending with an adult.
July 15-19 Earth Partnership for Schools at Madison Arboretum
Earth Partnership for Schools is offering an Earth Partnership Water
Stewardship Institute to involve students in native plantings that
improve water quality, benefit wildlife and offer meaningful,
project-based learning opportunities.
The First of May
Now the smallest creatures, who do not know they have
names, In fields of pure sunshine open themselves and sing.
All over the marshes and in the wet meadows, Wherever
there is water, the companies of peepers Who cannot count their members, gather
with sweet shouting.
And the flowers of the woods who cannot see each other
Appear in perfect likeness of one another Among the weak new shadows on the
Now the smallest creatures, who know themselves by heart,
With all their tender might and roundness of delight Spending their colors,
their myriads and their voices Praise the moist ground and every winking leaf,
And the new sun that smells of the new streams.
Poetry is a great literacy connection for the outdoors.
Hemlock is being attacted by an wooly adelgid. Listen to this story of history, climate change, and insect-tree interactions.
WPR Hemlock feature report
This report is easy to listen to and a great example of a case study.
Arbor Day in Wisconsin always coresponds to the FF's Career Development day in Madison. LEAF is a proud sponsor of the Forestry Exa.
This year we had 24 teams, with 88 contestants. The tests measures skills in compass, pacing, silviculture, DBH and height measurement, Forestry Equipment identification, and Tree species identification. The trees and skills are based on how timber mangement is done in Wisconsin.
1st place team was Marshfield
2nd place team was Stanley Boyd
3rd place team was Cochrane Fountain City
4th Place team was Granton
5th Place team was Cormell
1st place individual was Lance Thomas of Granton
2nd place individual was Zachary Gilberston of Marshfield
3rd place individual was Charlotte Urban of Marshfield
4th place individual was Jeffery Milas of Stanley Boyd
5th place indivdual was Jean Fischer of Wausau East
Congratulations! to all who participated, it was a beautiful warm sunny day.
Lastly, a special thanks to Adam Wehling for administing the written test, Jordon Donnerbauer, Emma Bartz and Rick Erickson for helping in the field.
Get Fascinated by Feathers With New All About Bird Biology Site
Feathers are amazing: they're light, aerodynamic, beautifully
patterned, colorful, waterproof, and warm. To help curious minds of all ages
learn about these impressive structures, The Cornell Lab just launched an in-depth,
immersive website. It's the first stage of our new All About Bird
Biology project, with more to come. Try out All About Feathers, including these great
A video library featuring 90+ videos that
bring bird biology to life