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People and the Environment: Poetry, Art, and Nature | Activity

Poets and visual artists alike create work about the natural environment. Read through the poems listed below with your students. What are the poets’ points of view, and what sentiments are the poems expressing about nature? How do they evoke the reader’s senses? What emotions or thoughts do you have after reading the poems?

Compare the poems to the works of art collected in this module. Are there any poems that complement particular works of art? How are they similar, and how are they different?


People and the Environment: Community Artists/Scientists | Activity

We look down into a darkened valley with a shimmering, curving river winding back to a screen of craggy, snow-topped mountains in the distance in this horizontal black and white photograph.

Ansel Adams, The Tetons and the Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, 1942, printed 1980, gelatin silver print, Gift of Virginia B. Adams, 1986.3.5


Ted Steinberg, Down to Earth: Nature’s Role in American History

(New York: Oxford University Press, 2009)

Carolyn Merchant, The Columbia Guide to American Environmental History

(New York: Columbia University Press, 2005)

Community scientists (also known as citizen scientists) are people who conduct research and contribute data to science projects as amateurs or nonprofessionals. Anyone can participate in community science projects provided they follow guidelines established by hosting organizations, including National Geographic, NOAA, and NASA.

Using the model of community science, identify a science project that aligns with your students’ interests and learning goals. Conduct research that both contributes to science and can be used to make art that reveals or communicates something about the climate in which you live. Artworks can take any form and use any medium.

Creating art is one way to take action in response to the world’s changing climate. What are other concrete ways that you see people helping solve this challenge? How might you, individually or with others, contribute solutions or make change in your own school or community?