Our newest K-12 publication is a first for the Oregon Forest Resources Institute (OFRI). We recently developed a set of forestry and natural resources lessons that come in both digital and print formats. The reason? To give students, teachers and parents maximum flexibility with how, when and where the lessons are used.
The Oregon Garden Natural Resources Education Program Lessons are designed to flex with a world where it’s impossible to predict where students will be learning, whether it’s at home, at school or a combination of the two. The lessons focus on four topics – wildlife habitats, adaptations, food webs and healthy forests – that are explored in the Oregon Garden Natural Resources Education Program. The OFRI-led field program for fourth- through sixth-grade students is normally held at the Rediscovery Forest inside The Oregon Garden in Silverton, but due to schools moving to distance learning and other safety precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the on-site program is not currently accepting school groups.
If students are in school, teachers can order free printed copies of the lessons from OFRI that can be completed in class or assigned as homework. If students are distance learning, teachers can send them a link to the digital version to complete online.
Both versions aim to enhance students’ understanding and appreciation of Oregon’s forests. Students are invited to explore each lesson topic through informational videos and other educational content developed by OFRI, and by making direct observations outdoors in their backyard, schoolyard or neighborhood park.
While the lessons were developed so students who haven’t been able to participate in the Oregon Garden Natural Resources Education Program because of COVID can learn similar concepts in another setting, the digital and print formats allow them to be used in any school or home in the state. And when the pandemic is over and students are back in school full-time, the lessons can be used to support forestry education programs either before or after a field trip.
You can find the Oregon Garden Natural Resources Education Program Lessons on our website for K-12 forest education, LearnForests.org.
We wish you good health, good spirits and a good time learning about Oregon’s forests.
Director of K-12 Education Programs