Using Leopold in Teaching
Handouts and discussion guides
Aldo Leopold Fact Sheet (2 pages, Adobe PDF format) and web overview
Discussion Guide for select essays in A Sand County Almanac by the Aldo Leopold Foundation (Adobe PDF format)
Green Fire Film
A wonderful way to introduce students to Leopold's ideas and significance, Green Fire—Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for our Time is the first ever full-length, high definition film about Leopold. The movie explores Aldo Leopold's life in the context of American conservation and environmental history, while also illustrating how Leopold's legacy lives on today in the work of people and organizations across the nation and around the world. The Public Screening License edition is designed specifically for classroom use.
Discussion Guide for the Green Fire film by the Aldo Leopold Foundation (Adobe PDF format)
Exploring the Outdoors with Aldo Leopold
You may also want to look into all the other resources available through the Leopold Education Project.
Books, Videos, Audio, and Websites
The above list of Aldo Leopold Foundation-developed resources is really just a starting place for learning more about Leopold. There is a plethora of additional material in your local library, bookstore, and on the web. Scroll down to the bottom of the page or click here to explore our comprehensive listing of additional educational resources for various age levels.
Classroom Resources from other Educators
We invite educators at all levels to share their ideas about using Leopold in teaching here for others. Do you have tools you’d be willing to share here with other educators to make it easier for them to use Leopold in the classroom? Tell us! We’ll share it alongside the other resources you see on this page.
Age group: K-12
Age group: college and above
A list of college-level syllabi on various aspects of the Land Ethic, complied by participants in the NEH-sponsored summer institutes on Leopold and Sustainability, organized by Dan Shilling at Arizona State University.
College-level lectures matching chapters from A Sand County Almanac with topics in environmental issues, shared by Dr. Frank Gallagher in the Urban and Community Forestry Program at Rutgers State University. (Click on "coursework" and scroll halfway down the page for the Leopold lecture links)
Introductory Activities for Walking in the Weathered World: A Sample Module from a Place-Based Academic Research Writing Course using Leopold's "Thinking Like a Mountain" essay and other resources, shared by Dr. Adrienne Cassel of the Sinclair College English department.
An excerpt from a syllabus on Nature Literature, including reading assignments of works by and about Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Edward Abbey, Henry David Thoreau, and Mary Oliver, with essay prompts for each collection of readings. (Shared by Sarah Rabkin at the University of California Santa Cruz.)
Aldo Leopold and his intellectual legacy are the topic of one of the inaugural articles in the Encyclopedia of Earth. The Encyclopedia is the largest reliable information resource on the environment in history. It is the first web-based information resource that combines the trustworthiness and authority of scientific review with the power of web-based collaboration, all enabled by a state-of-the-art technology platform. The Encyclopedia is free to the public, has no advertising, and is governed by scientists, educators, and professionals. The Aldo Leopold Collection was co-authored by Aldo Leopold Foundation staff, and is a great resource for online research on Leopold.
The Aldo Leopold Foundation is the primary
steward of Leopold’s
writings, unpublished manuscripts, journals, correspondence, sketches, photographs,
and implements he used on the land. The collection is housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives. The Aldo Leopold Foundation and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives received a grant from the National Historic Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to begin digitizing the entire collection in 2007. The Leopold Digital Archives are now publicly available free of charge for viewing. Click here for more information on the project.
Operating two Wisconsin-based educational centers in Monona and Black Earth, the Aldo Leopold Nature Center is an independent not-for-profit charitable organization providing year-round programming which “teaches the student to see the land, to understand what he sees, and enjoy what he understands” in the spirit of Aldo Leopold. ALNC offers field trips, seasonal family programs, special events, summer camps, teacher training workshops and interactive exhibits. Although a separate organization, ALNC is a partner of the Aldo Leopold Foundation. The Leopold family and Nina Leopold Bradley were instrumental in the founding of both organizations. Under their guidance, ALNC offers a number of initiatives to lead visitors to a deeper understanding of Leopold's land ethic, including: the Leopold Family Interpretive Trail: taking visitors through 21 acres of restored native habitat with questions Aldo Leopold might have asked you; the Children's Shack: child-scaled replica of the actual Aldo Leopold Shack designed to teach children about Aldo Leopold and how to live lightly on the land; and the Climate Education Center: a new wing at their Monona campus designed to teach about climate science, renewable energy and sustainability through interactive exhibits and a hands-on laboratory (named in honor of Nina) that helps children document their phenological observations.
Confused? Thought we were the same as the organizations listed above? Here's a quick summary of what we do:
The Aldo Leopold Foundation is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit, donor-supported organization based at the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center in Baraboo, Wisconsin. The foundation’s mission is to inspire an ethical relationship between people and land through the legacy of Aldo Leopold. Leopold regarded a land ethic as a product of social evolution. “Nothing so important as an ethic is ever ‘written,’” he explained. “It evolves ‘in the minds of a thinking community.’” The foundation's membership forms a modern day "thinking community," and the foundation's programs create opportunities for rich, diverse, and productive dialogue with members and others about humanity’s relationships to land, allowing the idea of a land ethic to unfold in myriad ways. The Aldo Leopold Foundation owns and manages the original Aldo Leopold Shack and 300 surrounding acres, in addition to several other parcels, and we also manage much of the remainder of the 1,800-acre Leopold Memorial Reserve. We act as the executor of Leopold's literary estate, encourage scholarship on Leopold, and serve as a clearinghouse for information regarding Leopold, his work, and his ideas. The foundation's land stewardship initiatives work with neighbors and others to foster an understanding of the total land community, and our education programs serve nearly 10,000 visitors on-site each year, in addition to many thousands more served through this website, our Green Fire film, and other outreach programming. We also invite our audiences to connect with us via their social networks on Facebook and Twitter.