Earth Connections: Science Through The Seasons

Earth Connections: Science Through the Seasons is an education program developed through a partnership between Oxbow and Frank Wagner Elementary in Monroe, with support from an EPA Environmental Education Grant. Based on research showing that early learning (PreK-3rd grade) offers a critical window to build science skills and connections to nature, our overall goal was to collaborate with Frank Wagner teachers to fuse formal and informal, indoor and outdoor educational experiences by developing an additive, hands-on program for early learners, with a focus on positive and purposeful relationships within our community and the environment. Read more!


Use this page as your home base. Our tree metaphor illustrates a healthy system where all main parts of the tree help it to grow towards its full potential, read more here.

Visit Core Strengths and Foundation to follow our project’s journey and partnerships essential to the success of this project.

Click on Fall, Winter, and Spring seasonal themes and Best Practices to find educator tools, lessons*, and resources.

*Lessons can be used individually or as a year-long unit to support place-based and hands-on science learning through the seasons.

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core strengths heart iconCore Strengths

The trunk of our tree symbolizes strength. Within this section, see what aspects of the project made our team united and strong.

fall leaf iconFall Season: Building Connections

We set the stage for the school year by building connections between the students, teachers, Oxbow Farmers, indoor and outdoor learning, and nature.

winter snowflake iconWinter Season: Fostering Inquiry

In Winter, students focused on science skill-building to help them better understand the world around them. They fostered inquiry by asking questions, making predictions and observations, and constructing explanations.

spring flower iconSpring Season: Discovering Place

In Spring, we prioritized the theme of discovering place as a way to engage students in building a relationship with their regional community: the local watershed; local and native flora and fauna; and Oxbow’s Kids’ Farm.

foundation roots iconFoundation

Here you will find the essential components integral to the project’s success, building a strongly-rooted foundation for teaching and learning. Included are our planning processes, academic literature review, and best practices (proven strategies for working with students outdoors).

Project Timeline & Lesson Sequence

Best Practices

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We are thrilled to share the fruits of this partnership with fellow educators  and practitioners and hope you find inspiration to continue exploring and learning from nature, both inside the classroom and around the schoolyard.

EPA grant #01J26201. Learn more about the project here.

Although the information and resources in this compendium have been funded in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, content may not necessarily reflect the views of the Agency and no official endorsement should be inferred.

Additional support for this project is provided through matching funds from Raven Trust Fund and through private donations made by Oxbow’s generous supporters. For questions about the project, please contact us.