Family Science Learning Overview

This guided walk will help focus your thinking across scales while observing your place. This helps us to develop a deeper understanding of our socio-ecological systems.

We often observe what is in front of us, but there is so much more to notice and wonder about! Consider the history of the place where you live. What does it look like vertically, horizontally? How does it change across seasons? Across years?


  • Use the activity sheet to guide your thinking while you walk. You can draw the template on a piece of paper or try using a journal to collect your observations over time. 
  • Look for something interesting you notice while thinking across scales 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?

  • Before you head out on your walk, do some research about the place you are in. What did this place look like before animals and humans?  What will it look like in the future?
  • What is life like for this tiny bug? Who is this tiny bug in relationship with? Stand under a tall tree and look up towards the sky.  What has that giant tree lived through? 
  • Ask questions that draw attention to seasonal time scales. What will this place look like in the winter? How will it change as we move into the summer months?

Activity Sheet

Connecting with Other Families

Write to an elder in your family or neighborhood. Ask them what they remember about this place, or what their journey to this place was like. Write an email to your friends with a few photos or drawings of what you saw and ask them what they noticed on their walk.

Connect to Other Activities

LE 3 Taking a focused walk together

  • Extension ideas: Try taking a hand lens and go for a “micro-hike”. Take a length of string and stretch it out on the ground. Pretend you are a tiny bug going for a hike.

Learning in Places Frameworks to Consider