Free Environmental Science Journals for Middle Schoolers

April 22nd, 2009 by ClickSchooling Leave a reply »

Recommended Website:
The Natural Inquirer

Age Range: 10-14 (Designed for grades 6-8, but there are aspects of these journals that will appeal to a much broader age/grade range.)

Happy Earth Day! This website offers a FREE science education journal titled, “The Natural Inquirer,” in which scientists with the USDA Forest Service share their research with middle school students. Each article in every issue explains research being conducted on trees, wildlife, insects, and water.

Each issue of “The Natural Inquirer” introduces students to the scientists who conduct the environmental research and includes an article on a specific research project. The article, as explained at the website, is “written in a way that scientists write when publishing their research in journals.” Topics include:

  • Climate Change
  • Invasive Species
  • Relationship Between Carbon, Photosynthesis, and Roots of Trees
  • Urban Forests
  • Tropical Biomes
  • Rocky Mountains
  • Natural Resources
  • And more!

Each issue also contains a “Discovery FACTivity” designed to help students learn scientific vocabulary words included in the articles. There are also discussion questions designed to help students think more about research.

All of the issues are archived and available for free. You can view them online, or download and print out to use offline, or you can order the issue and have it delivered to your home. If you select the home-delivery option, you have to register and provide your mailing address.

BUT WAIT — THERE’S MORE! When you get to the site you’ll see a brief introduction, information on the latest issue of “The Natural Inquirer,” and a menu on the left side of the screen that includes:

  • View & Order Issues — This is where you can access the archived issues. It’s also the place to register if you want the “home delivery” option.
  • Education Resources — Put your cursor over this menu item to see a drop-down list that includes a glossary, games and activities, podcasts, slideshows, lesson plans and more that are themed around topics covered in various issues of “The Natural Inquirer.” This is a treasure trove of environmental learning resources!

Bookmark this one, as you’ll need to many times to explore the vast content.

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