Inspiring exploration, appreciation, and conservation of our natural world.

Full day of P.D. on Nature Literacy and Personal Narrative

Two snow-day cancellations did not stop us from offering a dynamic day of Professional Development for all interested  K-12 educators. The theme for the day is Nature Literacy and Personal Narrative. We hope you can join us for one or both of these inspiring workshops.

In his new edition of The Last Child in the Woods Richard Louv says, “The children and nature movement is fueled by this fundamental idea: the child in nature is an endangered species, and the health of children and the health of the Earth are inseparable”. During a day of Professional Development focused on nature and literacy we will connect teachers with content designed to tap the innate link between nature, children, health, happiness, and literacy.

Kate Hofmann

In the morning (8am-12pm), Kate Hofmann from the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) will be offering a workshop for K-12th grade educators called, “Nature Literacy and an Introduction to National Wildlife Federation Programs for Educators.” Kate is Senior Editor for the National Wildlife Federation, writes the monthly Ranger Rick Magazine Educator’s Guide, and regular “Be Out There” columns that engage readers in seasonal outdoor activities. She is part of the Eco-Schools USA and Young Reporters for the Environment development teams, two of the educational programs offered by the NWF. Kate writes featured stories on a variety of topics related to wildlife and nature.

Kate will guide teachers through several NWF Programs for Educators, including Eco-Schools, Schoolyard Habitats,  and Young Reporters for the Environment along with sharing her expertise and extensive resources on Nature Literacy and Journaling.  Teachers will be able to order their free copy of Kate’s resource called, “Nature Journaling: A Creative Path to Environmental Literacy”.

Strauss319 copy

In the afternoon (1 pm – 5 pm), Literacy Coach, National Speaker and Program Coordinator for the Grand Traverse Stewardship Initiative, Jenifer Strauss, will offer an intensive training for K-12 educators on her Turning Points Personal Narrative ModelTM.  Jenifer began developing this writing model while teaching middle school. As a speaker for the National Institute on Media and the Family, she further developed the model based on the developmental connection between oral and written language.  In this workshop, participants will learn how the human brain is “wired” for story and why we think, learn, and retain information in narrative.

Jenifer will guide participants through the Turning Points Model, an interactive process consisting of a series of overlapping prompts that eventually target an impacting personal narrative event with a universal truth that can be orally communicated, written, and used in many applications including common core language standards,  public speaking, place-based education, goal setting, community building and beyond.

These two Professional Development workshops are free to all GTSI teachers. There is a $45 fee per workshop for other educators or administrators interested in attending. Come to one workshop or join us for a full day of Literacy P.D. Registration materials for earning SB-CEUs will be available at each workshop. Register on-line for one or both workshops or contact Jenifer Strauss, GTSI Program Coordinator at 231.941.0960 x15, email