Family Science Learning Overview

Take a walk together to observe signs of human decision-making. Humans have had, and will continue to have, important relationships that shape places and relationships.

Thinking about how and why humans interact with the natural world helps us to think deeper about possible futures. Humans make a lot of decisions for a variety of reasons that impact the natural world. What impacts have those decisions had?


  • Use the activity sheet to guide your thinking while you walk. You can copy the sheet on a piece of paper or try using a journal to collect your observations over time. 
  • Look for something interesting you notice about human decision making and draw or write what you see. 
  • If any new questions come up, write them down and come back to them later.

What Can You Do To Support Learning?

  • Do some research about who lived in the place before you came along. What kinds of choices did humans 1,000 years ago have to make? 100 years ago? 50 years ago?   In many cases, you can find pictures of your neighborhood from 50 years ago. What decisions have humans made in the last 50 years to change how our neighborhood looks and who lives there? How has who lives here changed and why?
  • Imagine who might come after you and what they might think about the choices your family made. How will the decisions we make now impact the future? How do you know? Take a look at other animals, plants, water, and land and look for how they interact with the decisions humans have made. Why were these choices made and how are they impacting other species or kinds? Are these impacts helping, harming, or just neutral? What could be done differently?

Activity Sheet

Connecting with Other Families

Write a letter to a neighbor and ask them about why they made the choices they did around their place. Share something interesting you found out about the community, ask if they know anything about it. Take pictures of interesting finds, text them to a friend and tell them what you think.

Connect to Other Activities

LE 3 Taking a focused walk together

  • Extension ideas: Before you go out on your walk, explore your outdoor living space. Ask questions about why or how humans have made the choices they made. For example, why is this sidewalk here? What happened as a result? Why did someone put up a bird feeder? How does that decision impact other species?

Learning in Places Frameworks to Consider

  • Complex Socio-ecological Systems Reasoning
  • Socio-ecological Deliberation and Decision-Making
  • Observation and Data Collection