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Watershed Experiences

New THVIP Tom O’Dowd shares his fluid journey and offers help with program content, implementation, and more. He is program coordinator at Bard College’s Environmental & Urban Studies Program. His specialties include environmental education, natural history, stewardship, community development….

Human Rights Day

On this date in 1948 the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). In honor of what Eleanor Roosevelt often said was her most important work here is our post from the 63rd anniversary featuring a wide range of resources for teaching about the UDHR and human rights generally.

Ferguson, Staten Island, Cleveland, the Hudson Valley, and place-based learning

This was not an easy post to write and you may be scratching your head over the title, but please read on and let me know if you agree with the connections I see.

Do role-plays complement field experiences?

Historic sites and museums have long used role- plays, simulations, and similar activities to engage kids. While they “feel” like ideal strategies for consolidating student learning, I never thought much about why that should be.

From the observation station: day in the life #2  

Other stations had data to collect–pH levels, biodiversity counts, and core samples–the information we collected was less easily quantified: restoring high school students’ childlike sense of wonder. Some seemed surprised that a station was dedicated to asking them to engage their senses for the “mere” sake of engaging their senses.

FDR, Eleanor, & Teddy: Teaching the Roosevelts

Not long ago, after spending a week devouring “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, Dina asked me, “What stuff is out there for teachers interested in teaching the Roosevelts?” We got busy, and here’s what we came up with.

Reflections from Muck City: Day in the Life #1

As station leaders, we wanted to spark students’ curiosity, while maintaining a fun-loving environment. After we had a chance to teach a couple of groups, we found a nice balance between the two.

Citizen History? Part 1

This, the first of two planned posts on “citizen history”, looks at ready-made opportunities–those most like what exists within the citizen science movement. Later we’ll share ideas and models from local teachers and historical societies that you can adapt to your situation.

Do they really know the River? Part 2

Our part of the Hudson River is such a small part. Lessons learned in books don’t always find a place in our hearts and memories. Sometimes we need to step outside out world to expand our learning.

Do they really know the River?

My students have grown up next door to the Hudson River, writes Brooklyn fourth grade teacher Mary Curry, but I often ask myself, what do they really know about it? Some students recite facts about its length or even explain about Lake Tear of the Clouds being a hydrologic source. My goal is to make those dry facts come alive.

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