Bringing it Back to Ranger Mac

Bring it Back to Ranger Mac

Asynchronous remote learning opportunities for youth broken into three phases. 

While we were considering how to translate our place-based programming to a remote and digital learning format, it occurred to us that we had already done this 79 years go with Wakelin McNeel aka Ranger Mac, our first superintendent. On his radio program, “Afield with Ranger Mac”, Ranger Mac led discussions in classrooms around the state on conservation biology, observation, and student-driven discovery of the natural world. To remind ourselves of this tradition we’ve called this program Bringing it Back to Ranger Mac!

The three phases build off of each other but may be used independently. Participate in as many or as few as you need. We are available to assist with implementation and integration into the curriculum. You can sign up here.

*At this time, we only have staff and capacity to support our contracted groups in BBRM.

student questions and observations accompanied with thermal and microscopic images and pictures of the naturalists

Lomira Middle School 6th graders tuned in late May to learn about Midge our box turtle and Leche our Honduran Milk Snake as part of their Bringing it Back to Ranger Mac series.

We are keeping our goals simple for this virtual visit. We aim to:
1) Encourage observation and documentation of the natural world around you.
2) Connect people to Upham Woods and to the lessons the land can teach us.
3) Support data literacy and writing skills through scientific story telling and sharing.

Phase 1: Science Corner at Home
We have designed worksheets with accompanying inquiry activities to support student learning around observation in nature and curiosity around the natural world in their “backyards”. The activities are designed for minimal adult supervision and do not require students to have access to a nearby green space. The worksheets include scientific stories crafted by previous Upham Woods visitors for your students to read and answer questions. Worksheets are available for the following classes: Wacky Water Critters, Scales Scutes & Skins, Animal Signs, and Outdoor Survival. We have included a list of Next Generation Science Standards addressed by the activities at the end of the worksheets. We encourage you to share student worksheets with us, we would love to see how they’re using them.

Phase 2: Afield with Naturalists
This phase has two parts. Part a is a short pre-recorded video and part b is a live virtual meeting with one of our naturalists for 30 minutes for students to ask questions. We are interested in co-developing how this phase works within your curriculum. Let us know how we can best support you in this.
The videos correspond to three of our lessons: Animal Signs, Scales Scutes Skins, and Wacky Water Critters. Each is video is between 10-15 minutes in length.

Phase 3: Earth Story Exchange 
At Upham Woods, we love sharing stories about the land and would love to hear yours. We are accepting stories mailed, emailed, shared over social media etc. When someone submits a story, they will receive a response and a story back from one of our naturalists! We ask that stories include data and observations from your naturehood. Check out the attachment to learn more.

We miss the stories students write while visiting Upham Woods and we are able to offer this final phase to anyone and everyone! Please share it with others who  may be interested.

These projects were developed following the North American Association of Environmental Education Guidelines for Excellence. The initiatives of this project build upon the objectives of EPA local grant 00E02399.

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