Math and Nature

TEACHERS, PARENTS AND OTHER CAREGIVERS: These resources are designed to facilitate you in cultivating curiosity and designing various types of inquiry experiences for your learners. Be sure to carefully screen all materials for age appropriateness and conformation to your district’s regulatory screening processes (curriculum, privacy, ect.).

STUDENTS: Although some of these resources will be appropriate for your curiosity and learning, they have been placed here for use by adults. Please check with an adult before accessing or signing up for any resource listed on this page or on the website in general.

Questions to ask:

  • What Math lives in nature?
  • How do natural shapes compare to human-made shapes?
  • How does nature use (symmetry, numbers, spirals, circles, etc.)?
  • How Many?
  • How can we use Math to understand (nature, bears, weather, our park)?
  • How can we use Math to (collect data, communicate a problem, better understand)?

Blogs and Websites:

  • SD36 Aboriginal Resources For Teachers: This website is a wealth of ideas for incorporating Indigenous content. As Indigenous peoples are strongly connected to nature, you will find many ideas here to make your inquiries more vibrant.
  • Janice Novakowski’s SD38 Math and Science Website is a wealth of exploratory reggio-based math (and science). This is a link to the Outdoor Learning Page as a starting point. Her Reggio-Inspired Mathematics Blog is also a great place to find provocations and other ideas for exploratory learning with many connections to nature.
  • The Child and Nature Alliance of Canada’s website has many helpful ideas from thriving outside with outdoor learning to uncovering curriculum in nature. You can also listen to their podcast.
  • Green Teacher is the blog/website available to EEPSA members (The Provincial Association for Environmental Educators in British Columbia). They also have a podcast.
  • Yummy Math is a great place to find Math Activities and information that connect Mathematical problem solving to real life. You can use the keyword search to find activities/info that relate to your area of inquiry.
  • The Smart Happy Project has many ideas for connecting children’s learning to nature.

Mathematical Inquiries With Connections to Nature:

Inquiries are easily adjustable to include all learners at all age levels. They allow for opportunities to grow and assess mathematical competencies. Remember to co-develop and be transparent about key learnings and assessment. It is important to build in time for discussion and reflection of what is being learned, challenges and how they are overcome, evolving questions and next steps. Inquiries can be as small as one block exploration/provocation or as long as a whole year. The most powerful learning lives, not in the explorations themselves, but in the reflections on what was learned.

Fibonacci Numbers and Nature
Fractal Foundation:
The Smart Happy Project:
Great Bear Sea: This website is a STEM inquiry guide for both Elementary and Secondary that focuses a place based study of the Great Bear Sea. The materials focus on sustainability and traditional practices, as well as all areas of STEM in the BC curriculum.
  • Maths is Everywhere: A great launch for a math inquiry
  • Bio-numbers: Questions and information that might help with building inquiries about big and small numbers OR an activity for gr. 6+
  • There are many great open ended activities and articles on NRich. Take some time to explore to find some that fit your inquiry.

Mensa For Kids (open learning for Gifted learners):

Don’t forget to check out the general inquiry resources on the Numeracy Connections and Inquiry Page. Here you will find resources to facilitate any inquiry.