Reading and Seeing Nature: E.O. Wilson’s Naturalist, to Christian Cooper’s It’s A Bird, and Beyond


E.O. Wilson, with Rachel Carson and Aldo Leopold are founding voices and enduring inspiration for today’s diverse perspectives on conserving, protecting, and restoring nature. Fortunately, today, we have a wonderful diversity of voices, writing beautifully, and bringing perspectives from science, humanities, and cultures less heard in the past. We feature video conversations with writers and media creators, select book chapters with discussion questions, and lessons focused on student’s interpreting and creating across disciplines from the science, to the language arts, or social studies classroom.

50-70 mins.

50-minute lesson on the Graphic Naturalist, with additional 20 minutes to view video and storymap. Other select readings, lessons, and videos for short additional assignments.


Life Science, Language Arts, Environmental Science, History

You will need:

Printed Paper maps

Digital map files

Online half-earth map

Reading and Seeing Nature: E.O. Wilson’s Naturalist, to Christian Cooper’s It’s A Bird, and Beyond

Learning Objectives

  • Introduce students to the diversity of subjects, people, settings, and topics in nature and biodiversity conservation writing.
  • Students will learn that they can focus on different species or groups of organisms to explore charismatic animals or species that appeal to them in some particular way.
  • Caring about nature and biodiversity is not restricted to science, and there are important connections to history, ethics, language arts, art, social studies, and humanities.
  • There are many ways to communicate your interest in nature.

Key Terms + Conditions

  1. Biography
  2. Nature writing
  3. Experiences in nature
  4. Diverse viewpoints
  5. Careers

Top tips for Instructors

  • Encourage all students to write AND draw. A gallery walk might be a good way for students to share their work.
  • Have the whole class work on the Graphic Naturalist lessons and have them choose one of the other readings to do as homework, and then discuss in class.
  • Have the students choose one of the videochats to watch for homework and report back to class the impression the author made on them.

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