Ms. Maggie’s Earth Adventures creates online, environmentally focused learning materials for school-aged learners. The stories and activities that comprise each unit in Maggie’s Earth Adventures are presented to introduce students to actual environmental issues and to motivate students to delve deeper into the issues presented.
In the Fall of 2010, Ms. Maggie’s featured two lessons focused on Nature Needs Half — language arts/science activities and math activities tailored to different levels of learners. The materials are distributed to a network of over 20,000 teachers in both English and Spanish (approx 1,000 of those teachers primarily use the Spanish materials).
In the language arts/science activity students read an article about the importance of green space in metropolitan areas, highlighting Nature Needs Half. Follow-up activities include questions designed to scaffold learning to further develop content area comprehension skills. The activity is available on the primary and intermediate levels. A companion emergent level activity is also available. The WAP correlates with Content Standard F, Science in Personal and Social Perspectives of the National Science Standards.
In the match activity, students are asked to think like a city planner, and put their math skills to the test of figuring out how to improve our “Green Lungs” and harmonize the space for people, forests, wildlife, and water based on Nature Needs Half. This activity is available on the primary and intermediate levels.
Here is a brief excerpt from the language arts lesson:
“Everyone needs clean water and food from the land. Too often we forget that nature is really the source of all life. What we get from the store or tap is only the last step. The first step begins with nature. As our population grows and our use of land and water increases, scientists, planners, conservationists, farmers, and government officials are asking an important question. How much land do we need to preserve? Land in the United States is measured in acres. But it is not always just about how much land is needed for conservation. Many times we need to look at where it is and how it is connected to other green or open spaces.
With the “Nature Needs Half” program, our communities would be encouraged to leave forests and green spaces. This would help our air quality and improve the health of the people in these communities. In one study by the space agency, NASA, scientists found that even having plants in your home helps reduce indoor air pollution. This means cleaner air for you! As we continue to build new communities, we need to understand all of the benefits of protecting nature. We need to leave half for nature!”