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Adult Basic Education students visit Eastman Nature Center

Adult Basic Education students visit Eastman Nature Center

 

Adult Basic Education (ABE) English Language (EL) students and their families recently participated in a free Nature for English Learners class series in partnership with the Eastman Nature Center in Maple Grove to learn and explore what Minnesota parks have to offer. 

The class series was held on-site at the Eastman Nature Center, part of the Three Rivers Park District on Saturday afternoons during the month of March and included time for learning with a naturalist educator in an indoor classroom and exploring the outdoors. Topics included map reading, animals and trees found in Minnesota. 

ABE EL students and their families had the opportunity to learn about and meet live animals, including a snake, painted turtle and salamander. The naturalist educator taught students about each animal's natural habitat and unique physical features of the animals with time for students to ask questions. With the assistance of the naturalist educator, students could get an up close look or touch the animal creatures if they wanted to. The students also learned about other animals commonly found in Minnesota including bees, birds, bats, bears, deer and raccoons. 

Outdoor group exploration time was a part of each class. Guided by the naturalist educator, students and families explored the trails surrounding the Eastman Nature Center to learn how to read a map of the trails, look for animal tracks, leaves and learn about trees that are commonly found in Minnesota. A highlight for students while on the trails was learning about how to tell how old a tree is and find one that was their own age. 

Students who participated in the Nature for English Learners class also received a Nature Walk Journal to use during the class to write and draw their experience and observations. The student journals were made possible through a grant funded by the District 279 Foundation.