Natural resources provide beauty and long-term benefits, but must be protected.
Natural resources include land, water, forests, wildlife, minerals, air and wind. Some are renewable, but some are not. Conservation of all natural resources for their economic, biological and intrinsic value is an important concept children should understand. Resources provide the things needed for a sustainable life, but it is important to find out utilize them efficiently. Second-grade science teaches students the importance of protecting the environment and natural resources through meaningful lessons and activities.
Natural Resources Collage
Natural resources in each state are unique. Students should understand and appreciate these special resources. Magazines, posters and easily obtainable brochures from your state provide illustrations and photographs of some of the various natural resources. For example, the Wyoming Department of Wildlife prints colorful brochures and posters that are free for teachers and schools. Cut pictures from these brochures to make collages. This makes a good group, team or individual activity. Display the collages in the classroom or share with the entire school by placing them in the hallway or on the school bulletin board.
Natural Resources Art
After a class discussion about mined natural resources, provide chart paper and markers for students to use to make a list of these resources. Students use the list to draw a picture that represents the mined resource. For example, one mined resource is coal. A drawing of a coal mine and perhaps a train loaded with coal for shipping would make a good illustration that reflects an understanding of the natural resource and its use. This activity makes a good cooperative learning project or works well as an individual assignment.
Second-grade students are just beginning to learn write short, informative paragraphs. A simple three- or four-sentence paragraph provides practice with sentence and paragraph construction and gives feedback on understanding of the concept of natural resources. Assign a writing assignment with the title, “Why We Need Natural Resources.” Model and give an example of an acceptable paragraph. Help guide the writing by supplying a graphic organizer for each student.
Provide books on the subject of natural resources. One that illustrates the consequences of using natural resources is “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss. This book discusses the negative aspects of cutting down trees. Read the story to the students and follow with a discussion about which character is right. Ask students to list the ways trees are important. Discuss lumber and its uses, oxygen from photosynthesis and the fruit provided by a variety of trees. Initiate discussion about the consequences of cutting down trees by asking questions requiring critical thinking skills.