Time to Get WILD!
By Rebecca Schumacher, Certified Texas Master Naturalist, Indian Trail Chapter
If you are a formal or informal educator, did you know that the Master Naturalists can help train you in an exciting, nature-focused curriculum called Project WILD?
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department sponsors a suite of Project WILD programs, each offering a special iteration of this outstanding, hands-on approach to learning. Project WILD is a Kindergarten through 12th grade environmental and conservation education program emphasizing awareness, appreciation and understanding of wildlife and natural resources. It is interdisciplinary and supplementary and can be used to teach basic skills in science, social studies, language arts, math, art, music and physical education. TPWD offers Project WILD through hands-on workshops for educators.
- teaches young people how to think about wildlife, not what to think…
- provides a set of fun, hands-on, easy to use educational activities…
- trains teachers and youth group leaders in an outstanding six-hour, hands on workshop ..
- includes helpful, scientific background information with all activities…
- incorporates powerful techniques and methods for teaching problem solving and decision-making skills, and
- is a program that is kid-tested and teacher-approved!
Who can use Project WILD?
- Classroom teachers, environmental educators, park and nature center personnel, Scout, Camp Fire and 4-H leaders, and others who work with young people.
- Activities work well with gifted students, impaired learners as well as mainstream students.
- Nature centers, museums, zoos, parks, camps, wildlife refuges and youth groups as well as schools. Project WILD can be used indoors and outdoors.
- Teachers: Project WILD activities develop conceptual skills such as analysis, classification, description, estimation, evaluation, inference, hypothesis formation, and problem solving and are correlated with TEKS and TAKS!
The lessons help incorporate wildlife-related concepts into classroom curriculum, and each activity is designed to teach one or more of the following concepts:
- awareness and appreciation of wildlife,
- human values and the wildlife resource,
- habitat and ecological systems,
- wildlife conservation,
- cultural and social interaction with wildlife,
- environmental issues and trends, alternatives and consequences, ecological systems and responsible human actions.
Each guide also includes grade level, subject, topic and skill indices as well as a glossary of terms.
Who endorses Project WILD?
Project WILD is endorsed by the Texas Education Agency through the Texas Environmental Education Advisory Committee (TEEAC), and the State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC.) Project WILD has earned the endorsement of organizations including the California Board of Education, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies.
In addition, Project WILD has received numerous awards including the 1984 Conservation Education Award from the Wildlife Society, a 1991 President’s Environmental and Conservation Challenge Award for Education and Communications, and recognition from the North American Association for Environmental Education and National Wildlife Federation.
Find more information on Project WILD at: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/learning/project_wild/. Or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for information about becoming certified in Project WILD!
Do you think nature should be part of our everyday life, not just somewhere to go on the weekends? You are invited to attend our free, open-to-the-public, monthly program on the fourth Monday of the month at 7 pm at the Red Oak Library, 200 Lakeview Pkwy, Red Oak, TX. For more information on the Indian Trail Master Naturalist Chapter, contact the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service at 972-825-5175 or visit our website: https://txmn.org/indiantrail/ .