Historic time period: 1945–early 1970s
Discover and Protect Nature
In her 1956 article “Help Your Child to Wonder,” Rachel Carson advised parents to explore the natural world with their children because “Those who dwell . . . among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life . . .” (Full article available online). In the spirit of her article’s suggestions, explore the reading guide below and its extension activities.
Rachel Carson was a pioneering environmentalist whose book, Silent Spring, had a huge impact on how people thought about their relationship with nature. A copy of her book is just one of the many objects at the National Museum of American History which help tell the story of environmentalism in American life and politics.
Read This Book
You can learn more about environmentalism by reading these books. Click on the book titles below for more information, or visit our complete bibliography.
More Recommended Books
- Miss Lady Bird's Wildflowers by Kathi Appelt
- There Once Was a Sky Full of Stars by Bob Crelin
- John Muir: America's First Environmentalist by Kathryn Lasky
Rachel Carson and Her Book that Changed the World
by Laurie Lawlor
Illustrations copyright (c) 2012 by Laura Beingessner. Reprinted from Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World by Laurie Lawler by permission of Holiday House.
Read Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World
Meet Rachel Carson, a scientist and writer who brought attention to the environment with her book Silent SpringDownload the PDF »
Take a Trip
Keep count of the animals and plants you see on your next trip outside!Download the PDF »
Photos of Nature
Take photos together while on the hunt for nature's wonders: big, small, smooth, and rough!Download the PDF »
Thinking About Trees
Learn from Objects
Play with an object from the Museum's collection to think about how trees improve our environment.
Sketch From Nature
Play and Create
Look closely at something from nature. What do you notice about its colors and textures? Capture it all in a nature sketch.Download the PDF »
Study in School
Read short passages from Silent Spring to explore Rachel Carson's use of persuasive rhetoric, then craft your own statements to convince someone to support your own environmental cause.
Best for grades 4-6.Download the PDF »