Naturalistic Intelligence Lesson Plan
Lindsey Earl and Aleksey Fischer
Naturalistic intelligence, or nature smart, is one of nine recognized intelligences. Individuals who identify with a naturalistic intelligence enjoy nature, being outside, and interacting with plants and animals. Some activities that these individuals enjoy are field trips, nature walks, or caring for plants or animals. It is important to be aware that some of our student’s preferred mode of learning may be through nature. The following is a lesson plan we developed that is geared toward students who identify as naturalistic.
Topic: Mindfulness in Nature
Grade Level: Middle School (6th grade)
Rationale and clear purpose for the unit or lesson: By taking a nature walk and having a group discussion surrounding nature and mindfulness, students will learn how to incorporate mindfulness and nature into coping skills. Students will be able to reflect and write a word relating to how they felt while on the nature walk on a ‘soothing stone.’
Applicable ASCA standard(s), objective(s), competency(ies):
● PS:A1.5 – Identify and express feelings
o Students will learn how to identify and express feelings through the participation in a nature walk and group discussion.
● PS:A1.8 – Understand the need for self-control and how to practice it
o Students will come to better understand the need for self-control through a discussion of mindfulness in relation to nature.
● PS:C1.10 – Learn techniques for managing stress and conflict
o Students will learn techniques for managing stress and conflict through a discussion of mindfulness in relation to nature.
● PS:C1.11 – Learn coping skills for managing life events
o Students will learn coping skills for managing life events through a discussion of mindfulness in relation to nature.
● Activate previous knowledge:
o Ask students what it means to cope, and then ask students methods they have used (or are currently using) to cope with stress.
o Ask how many students enjoy being in nature.
▪ Ask why they like being in nature/what they do in nature.
o While on the nature walk, discuss mindfulness and what it means to be mindful.
● Create anticipation – Encourage learning:
o Encourage students to remain mindful as we take a walk through nature.
o Encourage students to engage in respectful conversation with one another.
Developmental Learning Activities designed to meet the objective(s):
● Discuss coping mechanisms
● Discuss nature and ways students enjoy nature
● Go on nature walk
● While on nature walk, discuss mindfulness
o Ask what students are observing, feeling, smelling, etc.
● At the end of the nature walk, reflect and debrief
o Discuss how nature walk could be used as a coping mechanism
o Give out ‘soothing stones’ and have students write a word about how they felt while on the nature walk
o At the beginning of the lesson, discuss coping mechanisms and what nature means to students.
o At the end of the lesson, reflect on what was discussed and how it felt for students to be in nature.
Closing and Follow-up:
● Encourage students to keep ‘soothing stones’ in their pockets daily.
o They can rub the stone if they are feeling stressed or anxious to increase mindfulness.
● Remind students that you (the school counselor) are always available to them if they would like to talk.
● Soothing stones – small, smooth stones (can either purchase or find in nature)
o If environment allows, students may find their own stone while on nature walk
● Permanent markers