Maple Grove Elementary School has agreed to host a teacher professional development workshop on the Discover Nature – Schools instructional unit, Nature Unleashed. The workshop will be led by Sam Faith, Education Consultant for the Missouri Department of Conservation, in two sessions, from 3:30 to 6:30 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, December 12th and 13th. Completion of this training (both three-hour sessions) qualifies participants to apply for the Nature Unleashed grant offered by MDC to support schools that implement the instructional unit. The workshop is free of charge to all Missouri educators.
The Nature Unleashed instructional unit from the Missouri Department of Conservation helps elementary students understand ecosystem connections through exploring Missouri’s ponds, forests, and prairies. The fully illustrated student book includes activities that get students outdoors and exploring, investigating, and asking questions about the ecosystems around their school. After this unit, students will understand concepts like the difference between consumers and producers, the food chain, and the specializations that help animals survive in different ecosystems.
Covering several third- through fifth-grade life science and earth science Missouri Learning Expectations, the Nature Unleashed unit introduces students to specific laboratory and data procedures with fun activities in their scientific notebooks. These activities guide students toward designing a field trip where they gather, record, and organize data. This field trip is a final activity where students demonstrate their scientific skills that they learned throughout the year.
Like the other Discover Nature – Schools instructional units, Nature Unleashed is supported by generous noncompetitive grants from the Missouri Department of Conservation. The grant pays for the materials and supplies needed to implement the unit, plus bus transportation for a field study day at a local park or conservation area. To be eligible for the grant, teachers using the unit must complete a six-hour training course provided free of charge by MDC staff.