MDC offers FREE Birding Teacher Workshop Oct. 7 in West Plains

News from the region
Published Date

WEST PLAINS, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will host a workshop titled, It’s for the Birds, Monday, Oct. 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at MDC’s Ozark Regional Office in West Plains. This free workshop is specifically for Missouri teachers of grades three through five, or homeschool parents. MDC Education Consultant Mary Beth Factor said teachers will learn all about Missouri birds using the Discover Nature Schools Nature Unleashed Curriculum Guide.

“This curriculum is aligned to Missouri Learning Standards,” Factor said. “This workshop will introduce teachers to the art of bird viewing including binocular usage, bird identification through use of a dichotomous key, keying bird songs, as well as connecting specific Missouri bird species to bird habitats through adaptations and food chains.”

Factor said the training offers teachers the chance to become more familiar with the Nature Unleashed curriculum lessons, the teacher guide and the student materials – all of which are free. They will learn teaching strategies for taking students outside to explore the variety of Missouri's ecosystems.

“Plus, a non-competitive school-wide grant is available and provided through MDC to help with classroom materials and field experiences, including transportation costs,” Factor said. “This is a great opportunity to help students connect to what lies right outside their door. They’ll get excited about all of the amazing wildlife that is right here in our state.”

Registration is required by Oct. 3 through MDC’s Teacher Portal at Teachers can expect to be outside for most of the training, so should dress appropriate for the weather, including walking or hiking shoes. Participants will also need to bring a sack lunch and refillable water bottle.

MDC’s Ozark Regional Office is located at 551 Joe Jones Blvd. in West Plains. For more information about this program contact Mary Beth Factor at (417)255-9561 ext. 4755, or To register or find more MDC workshops go online to