News and Notes

What’s in a Name? Nature, Culture, and Conservation

Ever wonder where the name for the place where you live came from? The names of many places, including lakes, parks, mountains, and forest reserves can tell an interesting story. You might be surprised at what you can learn by exploring the history of a place’s name. It could change the way you think about the environment we live in. This lesson has students exploring the origin of their town’s name, making a map of their own family’s journey, while exploring maps that can inform us about native history and natural history. An appendix includes passages from books by Robin Wall Kimmerer, Drew Lanham, and Aldo Leopold.

Download Lesson PDF

This lesson was inspired in part by Lauret Savoy’s book Trace, featured in our reading list, and in this blogpost, Half-Earth Project Education Ambassador Tamara Jolly was inspired to develop this lesson after reading Lauret Savoy’s book and then talking with her. Learn more about Tamara here,

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