Forty classroom-ready science teaching and learning activities for elementary and middle school teachersGrounded in theory and best-practices research, this practical text provides elementary and middle school teachers with 40 place-based activities that will help them to make science learning relevant to their students. This text provides teachers with both a rationale and a set of strategies and activities for teaching science in a local context to help students engage with science learning and come to understand the importance of science in their everyday lives.

Surveying Local Parks
Surveying local parks

Science Background

Local parks are an outstanding resource for science teachers. They provide a common open space that is readily accessible to students and teachers for various explorations and activities. Almost every community has some kind of park, whether a vest-pocket park in a place like downtown Chicago or a national park in a rural community such as Buena Vista, Virginia, which is adjacent to the George Washington National Forest.

An exciting way to have students become aware of the layout as well as the topological and physical characteristics of a local park is to have them go to Google Maps (, where they can actually call up a street map, a satellite map, or a topological map of most towns and ...

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