Natural Science for Teachers

General Description:

Join the Banana Slug String Band, California's premiere Environmental Educators, and Musical Troubadours, in this playful, magical, and intimate week in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Come prepared to sing your hearts out; dance to the mysteries of our Earth’s treasures; and learn songs, techniques, and curricula that will make teaching Science and Environmental Education accessible, easier, and more inspiring. Activities will include hands-on games, poetry, song-leading, puppetry, songwriting, storytelling, art, and of course … MUSIC! We will have a daily theme such as Plants, Habitats, Oceans, or Watersheds. Each theme has its own group of associated songs and activities that will lead us down a path of joy and exhilaration in Environmental Ed! We’ll explore the beautiful Sierra Nevada Field Campus and also head out on field trips to gorgeous and awe-inspiring locations where we’ll birdwatch, visit waterfalls, take in sunsets, and sing all the while. Each evening concludes with a campfire full of songs and stories. This is a unique and heartwarming opportunity to spend an intimate week with the Banana Slug String Band.

Class Schedule

Plan to arrive at the Sierra Nevada Field Campus on Sunday. We will all gather that evening for group introductions and a short campfire. The class starts in earnest on Monday morning at 8:00 a.m. The week’s activities will be organized around daily thematic threads, but will also have flexibility built in to help accommodate participants’ needs and expectations. Each day includes a morning and afternoon session followed by an evening campfire. Hikes will be short (1-3 miles), and adaptable to the group. There will be plenty of breaks and free time to explore the nearby river, read, write or simply nap. The pace of the workshop will be determined in part by our group, and we look forward to input from the participants. Most days will include a field trip to a nearby natural jewel! Each day will conclude with songs, stories, star-gazing, and reflection. Expect to be inspired! The class concludes around noon on Friday.

Supplies and Useful Items

Class Supplies

  • Notebook and pencil
  • Bring ideas for natural science units that you would like to work on, expand, or enhance

Optional Equipment

  • musical instruments
  • binoculars
  • hand lens or small magnifying glass
  • field guides
  • headlamp
  • camera
  • lightweight stool or sitting pad

Camping gear


Days are warm, even hot, while evenings can be quite cold (close to freezing). Clothing that can be layered for variable weather conditions is best. T-shirts and shorts are often perfect during the day, with a wind jacket or raincoat as backup. Long pants, warmer shirts and sweaters with a coat are necessary in the evening. Comfortable shoes, sun hat, wool hat and gloves are important.


  • day pack
  • sunscreen
  • insect repellant
  • alarm clock
  • water bottles
  • plastic containers for lunch makings: sandwich, fruit, cookies...


For carpool or additional information, email

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