Ecology/Conservation
Protecting the Earth for future generations takes first learning about our planet, the environment, and how the ecosystem works. Get ecology teaching tips, project ideas, and more.
Things to See & Do in Massachusetts
Sudbury, Assabet & Concord National Wild & Scenic Rivers
These rivers have remained remarkably undeveloped considering their close proximity to the Boston metropolitan area. With ten of the designated river miles lying within the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, the SuAsCo Rivers offer abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation, are awash in scenic beauty, and provide prime waterfowl habitat in the form of large areas of riparian wetlands. As well, a unique legacy is woven through historical sites along the rivers' path. The Minute Man National Historical Park - located near Town of Concord - contains the Old North Bridge, the site of the revolutionary "Shot Heard 'Round the World." Securing a place in American literary history, the rivers are featured in the works of authors Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau.
Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
Boston Harbor Islands national park area includes 34 islands situated within the Greater Boston shoreline. The islands are rich in natural and cultural resources. Imagine a place where you can explore tide pools, walk through a Civil War era fort, climb a lighthouse, hike lush trails and salt marshes, camp under the stars, or relax while fishing, picnicking or swimming...all within reach of downtown Boston. The 34 islands are managed by a unique, 13-member Partnership which includes the National Park Service and other public and private organizations. An advisory council provides a mechanism for public involvement.
Buttonwood Park Zoo
The Buttonwood Park Zoo is located in New Bedford. On your journey through the Berkshires to the Sea exhibits you'll encounter black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, river otters, bald eagles, seals, and many other animals. They also have Asian elephants, North American bison, and one of the finest rare breed, farm animal collections in the United States.
Cape Cod National Seashore
Cape Cod National Seashore comprises 43,604 acres of shoreline and upland landscape features, including a forty-mile long stretch of pristine sandy beach, dozens of clear, deep, freshwater kettle ponds, and upland scenes that depict evidence of how people have used the land. A variety of historic structures are within the boundary of the Seashore, including lighthouses, a lifesaving station, and numerous Cape Cod style houses. The Seashore offers six swimming beaches, eleven self-guiding nature trails, and a variety of picnic areas and scenic overlooks.
Capron Park Zoo
Located in Attleboro, the Capron Park Zoo offers animal exhibits and educational programs.
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a 2,180-mile footpath along the ridgecrests and across the major valleys of the Appalachian Mountains from Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in northern Georgia. It traverses the scenic, wooded, pastoral, wild, and culturally resonant lands of the Appalachian Mountains. Conceived in 1921, it was built by private citizens and completed in 1937. The trail traverses Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia.
Franklin Park Zoo
The Franklin Park Zoo, located in Boston, is comprised of four main exhibit areas, including the African Tropical Forest, Bird's World, the Children's Zoo, and Hooves & Horns. Offers special exhibits and educational programs.
The Butterfly Place
The Butterfly Place is an indoor living environment located in Westford, Massachusetts, which has been carefully designed for the propagation and development of some of nature’s most colorful living creations. This wonderful man-made habitat is contained within a 3,100 sq. ft. glass atrium building towering to a height of over 27 ft. at its peak. Within this atrium’s living butterfly environment can be found a variety of colorful plants and shrubs, each of which has been selected as a source of nectar for the butterflies. At any given time, the atrium may contain up to 500 butterflies representing as many as 50 different species from around the world, although butterflies which are native to the New England region are featured whenever possible.
Activities & Experiments
Handbook of Nature Study
Based on Charlotte Mason's method of education, this website offers ideas and resources for incorporation nature study into your homeschool.
How I Teach a Large Family in a Relaxed, Classical Way: Science
Family style learning is a great way to tackle lots of different subjects, including science.
ExploraVision
ExploraVision is a competition for all students in grades K-12 attending a school in the U.S., Canada, U.S. Territory or a Department of Defense school. Homeschooled students are eligible to enter. It is designed to encourage students to combine their imagination with their knowledge of science and technology to explore visions of the future. Teams of students select a technology, research how it works and why it was invented, and then project how that technology may change in the future. They must then identify what breakthroughs are required for their vision to become a reality and describe the positive and negative consequences of their technology on society. Winning ideas have focused on things as simple as ballpoint pens and as complex as satellite communications. The student teams write a paper and draw a series of Web page graphics to describe their idea. Regional winners make a Web site and a prototype of their future vision.
Arbor Day National Poster Contest
Join over 74,000 fifth grade classrooms and home schools across America in the Arbor Day National Poster Contest. The theme chosen will increase your students’ knowledge of how trees produce and conserve energy. The free Activity Guide includes activities to use with fifth grade students to teach the importance of trees in producing and conserving energy. These activities correlate with National Science and Social Study Standards. The Guide also includes all of the information you need for poster contest participation.
Featured Resources

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Montessori Play And Learn : A Parent's Guide to Purposeful Play from Two to Six
We all want the best possible starts in life for our children, and one of the best possible starts in life, educationally, is the "method" pioneered by Maria Montessori and taught successfully today throughout the world.Now, Lesley Britton, the leading Montessori practitioner in England for more than twenty years, will show parents how to bring Montessori home. If you would like to facilitate the development of your child's unique personality, make it possible for him to develop to his full inte...
Idea Book For Cuisenaire Rods At The Primary Level
Grades K-4. Each 120 page book contains worksheets and has selected activities that cover the major math standards. Each page outlines the grade level, materials needed, settings, learning experiences, and are based on NCTM Standards.
Black Children : Social, Educational, and Parental Environments
Black Children, Second Edition collects current empirical research unique to the experiences and situations of black children and their parents. As the editor emphasizes, "African American children develop a duality for their existence. To be fully functional, they must develop the skills to do well simultaneously in two different cultures, both black and non-black." This volume explores the meaning of this duality in four distinct environments: socioeconomic, parental, internal, and educational...
The Outdoor Life of Children: The Importance of Nature Study and Outside Activities (Charlotte Mason Topics - Volume 2
The methods of Charlotte Mason are popular among homeschoolers. She includes nature study as a crucial element. This work explores the idea of the outdoors as a classroom for children, and gives tips on ways of teaching the sciences, history, literature, music, and art through the use of outdoor space. 
Help for the Harried Homeschooler : A Practical Guide to Balancing Your Child's Education with the Rest of Your Life
Homeschooling moms and dads can be overwhelmed by the demands on their time. Between their children’s educational needs; their roles as spouse, parent, and more; and their own individual desires and goals, these mothers and fathers struggle to accomplish all that must be done. In Help for the Harried Homeschooler, experienced homeschooler, author, and mother of four Christine Field offers sound advice for parents who want not only to achieve homeschooling success but also to reach a balanc...