Annie’s BIG Nature Lesson

The mission of Annie’s BIG Nature Lesson (ABNL) is to immerse children, teachers, and parents in the beauty and wonder of the natural world; to engage them in authentic scientific investigations through observing the local ecology, drawing, and writing; to nurture citizens who value and protect natural resources; and to build school-community partnerships that inspire responsible environmental stewardship. 

Annie’s BIG Nature Lesson is a study trip that spans five consecutive days at the Kalamazoo Nature Center. Teachers and students immerse themselves in learning for a full week on-site through Expert Lessons with a KNC educator, teacher-led activities that reinforce Expert Lesson themes, and independent observation to encourage personal curiosity.  

Teachers will meet with the ABNL coordinator to pick their Expert Lesson topics for each day about two weeks before their visit. The KNC will provide teacher-led activities to be completed outside of the Expert Lesson to reinforce themes and topics. The remainder of your day will be spent doing journal observations, hiking, or simply playing outside. Teachers are encouraged to bring other activities and lessons from their classroom to connect with themes at the KNC and enrich students’ experiences. 

School Field Trip in winterDates are filling quickly, but many dates are still available; please check available dates here >

KNC will host a teacher training day in October for teachers participating in ABNL. Please contact Jen Rice, Director of Community Programs, () or Hannah Shiner, ABNL Program Coordinator, () if you have questions. 

Register here

ABNL Coordinator

Hannah Shiner

Hannah Shiner:

Hannah is an Environmental Educator at KNC and teaches programs at our main site including Preschool Explorers and Sprouts, and school field trips in addition to coordinating Annie’s Big Nature Lesson. Hannah loves the curiosity and fun that comes from outdoor education and hopes to share that with the community.