News Release

US Forest Service releases teacher supplement, CD for Woodsy Owl ABCs Book

Supplement helps educate young children about conservation and urges them to go outside

December 12, 2011 -

The U.S. Forest Service has released a free teaching supplement to the illustrated Woodsy’s ABCs book that helps early childhood educators expand conservation messages and techniques to get children learning in the outdoors.

The free Woodsy’s Teacher’s Kit also includes a compact disk of Woodsy Owl songs performed by the Arlington, Va., Children’s Chorus. The teacher’s supplement takes lessons from the book and shows teachers how to go beyond the pages. The classroom and outdoor activities incorporate science, literacy, writing and critical thinking. Each section includes suggested reading on that topic

“We’ve gone beyond the look of the book to provide educators and childcare providers with outdoor lessons, field trip suggestions and kid-friendly activities,” said James Hubbard, deputy chief for the U.S. Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry. “What better way to spend an afternoon outdoors then peaking under rocks to see what lurks beneath or walking through a forest singing Woodsy Owl songs. Makes me wish I were a kid again.”

First published in 2004, Woodsy’s ABCs, by Forest Service writer-editor Roberta Burzynski, is a colorful, easy-to read picture book designed to teach the alphabet along with key environmental concepts. For example, the book uses “A,” for Air, to let children learn that “Air is there, but no one sees this gift you get from plants and trees.”

Each page includes beautifully illustrated scenes by the artist Joe Kulka, the winner of the 2008 Wanda Gág Award for Best Book to Read Aloud to Children for “Wolf’s Coming!” That book was chosen by the School Library Journal as one of the best books of 2007.

“The supplement was developed by a team of environmental educators, and tested by Head Start and other early childhood centers throughout the nation,” said Safiya Samman, director of the Forest Service’s Conservation Education office. “We are proud to add this guide and the music CD to the wealth of other educational resources that connect children to nature. I hope that educators will find it useful and inspiring.”

Educators may obtain a free copy of the supplement by sending a post card with their full name and complete street address (no postal boxes) to Woodsy’s Teacher’s Kit, National Symbols Cache, U.S. Forest Service, 402 SE, 11th St., Grand Rapids, MN 55744.

The Woodsy’s ABCs book is available for purchase from the National Symbols Cache for $1.50, or individual pages suitable for printing may bedownloaded free.