Teaching with Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv


Teaching with Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

Literacy is a big part of teaching sciences, specifically Climate Change. It incorporates so many other disciplinary fields that there really isn't one area where it lives, and learning about some of the less talked about or non-standard information is an important part to build the foundation of learning how to understand and do something about Climate Change. Richard Louv's Last Child in the Woods is an amazing tool to help with that. 

When I taught Environmental Science to juniors and seniors in Milwaukee, I had the rare ability to put together anything I wanted to teach as long as it met standards. I was able to bring in a class set of Last Child in the Woods through Donors Choose (at the request of my students!!) and change up my curriculum to focus on this book on Fridays. 

Every Friday students would read a chapter or two in the book, and then I had prepared discussion questions for them to talk about in small groups, and then journal about. At the end of the book, they had to write a final paper about how the book connected to their daily lives, their school lives, their families, community, culture, etc., and then talk about what they could do moving forward with the information that they learned from it. Those papers were some of the best I'd ever seen in a science course, and became the envy of the English teachers as well! Students were more excited to read this science book than they were their English books, but what it did was really got the conversation started about their connection to nature and the environment. They began to understand their place in the ecosystem, and could then plan and take action to further connect, conserve, or restore. 

Attached are the guided reading questions I gave my students for each chapter of this book that they discussed in small groups and then journaled about.  

Please feel free to use and develop them to your needs, but please be sure to give credit to the creator of the materials (Kristie Wagner). These materials were created by me and are not licensed or associated in any way with the author, Richard Louv, and are simply questions that I came up with in my own reading of the book that I thought would enrich my students' experience with it.