When learning about biodiversity, students are often shown far away landscapes – such as jungles and deserts – as examples of places with unique sets of plants, animals, and interesting terrain. The fields, forests, lakes, and streams of Western Massachusetts, however, are bursting with a wide variety of trees, grasses, flowers, insects, birds, fish, and mammals of all sizes! Come discover and learn about your local ecology at the 6th annual Berkshire BioBlitz!
While exploring outdoors, the development of sense of place and lots of skills for learning can be supported through a game of nature-themed bingo or an outdoor scavenger hunt. Perusing the local landscape in search of specific species, animal signs, and other natural details will inspire curiosity in children. Tailoring games and hunts to meet children’s learning needs (from sensory experiences to microscopic observations) and individual interests (like a fascination with insects or evergreens) can help them to dig deeper into their interests in a way that is age- and developmentally-appropriate – not to mention educationally valuable.