It’s spring – get outside and… learn!

As the days get longer and temperatures return to the plus side of zero, Albertans naturally start spending more time outdoors.

Along with the newly budding leaves and flowers, field trips and environmental activities seem to flourish in spring. Our Kindness Calendar lists many events with educational components – often global in perspective but with local connections. Several of these include resources you can download or order ahead of time – so don’t delay, check them out today!

Some of the special commemorations are:

Earth Day, April 22nd, provides the opportunity for positive actions to protect our fragile environment. Teachers can register on the Earth Day website to access lesson plans, teaching activities and downloadable toolkits for all grades.

International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD), May 9th, brings attention to one of the most important and spectacular events in the Americas – bird migration. The theme for 2015 is Restore Habitat, Restore Birds. Find plenty of educational resources – including The Migration Game, Habitat Bingo and lesson plans – at the IMBD education page.

Environment Week, May 31st to June 6th, is packed with engaging events and opportunities for active learning. Embedded in the seven days are Clean Air Day (June 3rd), World Environment Day and Alberta Water Quality Awareness (AWQA) Day (both on June 5th). Some activities that fit into this week include the Commuter Challenge, the start of Bike to School Month, and stream or pond water sampling (be sure to order your free AWQA kit ahead of time).

If you’re planning a field trip to allow students to observe animals and feel a connection with wildlife, we have some points to consider about zoos, and a zoo field trip checklist. If you’re not able to take a trip, our Animal Cams page lists numerous wild bird cams that start up in the spring – including the Peregrine Camera at the University of Alberta, the Osprey Camera at the Calgary Zoo and the Edmonton Journal Goosecam from a Central Alberta farm.

However you celebrate the return of spring with your students, we hope you’ll let us know by commenting below or in our Facebook group for teachers. Keep in mind that as summer approaches, so does June 21, the longest day of play – an opportunity to remind ourselves that playing is also important.

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