2019 Educators' Conference: Natural Connections

Interdisciplinary Strategies for Teaching and Learning


Join us for the 2019 Educators’ Conference! This three-day collaborative conference provides valuable professional development opportunities for PreK–6th grade educators, administrators, and pre-service teachers. Join your colleagues for inspiring opportunities to make natural connections using interdisciplinary teaching approaches. Presenters model ways to blend science, social studies, language arts, and math standards for authentic learning experiences.

March 13 | Pre-K – 1st Grade

March 14 | 2nd – 3rd Grade

March 15 | 4th – 6th Grade

Registration opens mid-January 2019

Professional Development Workshops


Take It Outside: Using the School Grounds as a Classroom

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden Professional Learning and Development workshops provide educators with skills, knowledge and experiences necessary to enhance curriculum through nature-based learning. Educators will explore effective teaching techniques for inquiry-based learning and gain ideas for hands-on connections to Standards of Learning and Virginia Foundation Blocks for Early Learning.

Topics include:

Taking Learning Outdoors: Where the Wild Things Are | Pre K – K

Cultivate your student’s imaginations while seamlessly integrating early STEAM concepts and literacy skills into authentic outdoor experiences.

Outdoors in All Seasons: Options: Weather, Birds or Trees | Pre K – 3rd

Explore the plants and animals in your schoolyard through multidisciplinary activities, experiments, art, and literature connections.

Sticks, Stones and Pinecones | Pre K – 3rd

This workshop is for educators who are curious about loose parts and loose parts play. Learn how to use loose parts to promote STEAM concepts, enhance play, and empower children to be creative.

First Peas to the Table | 1st – 3rd

The “First Peas to the Table” is based on Thomas Jefferson’s annual contest with his neighbors to plant peas and compete to be the first to harvest. Learn how to use this contest with your students as a springboard for a cross-curricular investigation into what plants need to grow and thrive.  While observing and measuring plant growth and change, the function of each plant part comes to life, culminating in a pea party!

Growing Mr. McGregor’s Garden | 1st – 3rd 

 Based on Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Peter Rabbit; challenge your students to solve the garden mystery: What vegetables has Mr. McGregor planted this spring? Use your senses to compare and contrast plant parts while inferring what is growing in the garden, plant a rainbow of vegetable seeds, use mapping skills to help Peter get out of his predicament, and design a way to keep pesky critters out of the garden!

Inquiry-Based Investigations in the Schoolyard | 1st – 3rd

Learn how to design and lead your students through open-ended inquiry science investigations using your schoolyard sidewalk, lawn and trees.

Contact Tarneshia Evans at 804-262-9887 x254 or [email protected] to discuss your professional developmental needs.


Celebrate Arbor Day at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden with Project Learning Tree, a nationally recognized award-winning curriculum with a wide variety of hands-on and interdisciplinary activities that teach about the environment using trees as a window to learning. Each participant completing the full seven-hour workshop will receive both the PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide and Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood. Both guides are packed with easy to use and fun activities that help children learn how to think, not what to think. Be prepared to move, play and participate both inside and outside!

  • Friday, April 26, 2019
  • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
  • $25.00 per person
  • Eat lunch in our on-site café (one hour lunch)

Registration will close on Friday, April 19th at 5:00 p.m.

Questions? Contact Page Hutchinson, Project Learning Tree State Coordinator

email: [email protected]

phone: 434-220-9037

Arbor Day with Project Learning Tree

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