Ideas and Resources for Outdoor Learning

4 min read
Part of the December 2020 STEM Resources Digital Calendar!

Students spend so much time with their digital devices and indoors. When possible we should provide them opportunities to learn outdoors and play. Moving outdoors uplifts students’ emotions, teaches them how to socialize and problem solve with others, and gets students moving. Below is my slide presentation, Outdoor Learning, full of ideas. Find several more ideas for outdoor learning. Keep scrolling to browse a Wakelet full of curated resources, such as outdoor art challenges.

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Ideas and Resources

  • Geocaching is where you find little treasures around the area people create. Others find it through free apps that list hints, the longitude, and latitude. Do a school version where students hide small containers of treasure and their peers find them via their longitude and latitude.
  • Participate in citizen science projects and help scientists find answers to deep questions. Check out ones for exploring the stars or the environment at SciStarter.
  • MIT encourages students to document the nature they see through photos and descriptions with (iOS/Android).
  • Send them on field research. In Texas, I’d take my students collecting water samples with SAWS engineers, bird watching with park rangers, and fossil hunting with a paleontologist.
  • Take them on walks exploring the nature around them.They can create digital books classifying rocks, identifying bugs, naming plants and potential uses, or capturing the sounds of various birds. Try Buncee to create your digital scrapbooks.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt! Try these apps and web tools- Goose Chase app and the Qr Treasure Hunt Generator.
  • Send them on photo challenges. See my post with 52 ideas and resources here!
  • Jump rope! Many chants teach literacy, vocabulary, grammar, and math. One example is: “A my name is ALICE, my brother/ sister’s name is AL, we live in ALABAMA and we bring back APPLES. B my name is B___, my brother/ sister’s name is B___, we live in B___ and we bring back B___.”
  • Host outdoor board game challenges!
  • Play sports! Host a field day, an Olympics games day, or teach them different sports popular in other countries, like curling.
  • Students can works in groups to invent a sport. They decide the equipment, create the rules, then teach it to the class.
  • Students can study the math and physics of the slides, swings, or other playground equipment.
  • Students can measure their shadows at different times of the day. Get them to bring in other objects and draw what they predict the shadows will be depending on the time and location.
  • Get them to test different distances and angles with their bodies playing different sports to improve their game!
  • Group students to experiment with designing and testing out their designs for creating kites, paper airplanes, rockets, or ships.
  • Have fun learning with chalk! Learners can draw vocabulary their peers guess, create positive messages around the school then interview students the next day to determine the impact, learn math with hopscotch, or sketch out math word problems.

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More Ideas

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