Outdoor Education Teacher Resources
Find Outdoor Education educational ideas and activities
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Outdoor Activities/Problem Solving: Play a Listening Game
Learners listen to everyday sounds that help them develop listening skills. In this early childhood lesson plan, students develop listening and language skills to recreate sounds in the outdoor environment.
Rocks, Minerals, and Erosion
Students identify and describe rocks that contain records of the earth's history and explain how they were formed. They formulate questions about and identify needs and problems related to objects and events in the environment, and explore possible answers and solutions.
The Importance of Trees
The lesson starts with a discussion on how and why we should be respectful in the outdoor environment; then it's outside we go! Little scientists look for two trees that are very different, they draw each tree in detail and then return to the class for further instruction. Once inside, they color their pictures and discuss the similarities and differences they found. The attached worksheet will help them compare and contrast their trees.
Marvelous Measurement in the Outdoor Classroom
Here is a lesson that isn't just about making scientific observations, it's also about determining which tool is needed to collect accurate data. After reviewing what it means to be safe when working outdoors, the class hikes around the school yard as they hunt for natural specimens. Each child collects one specimen from the yard and then uses several different tools to determine which tool is the best for analyzing their specific object. Thermometers, rulers, scales, and yardsticks should be ready for learners to use as they explore.
Nature and the Environment in Postwar Japan
Japan has a complex relationship with the environment. Explore this relationship with your class through this resource. Included are thought questions, several activity ideas that range from writing, to discussion, to research, and an idea for a theoretical conversation about attitudes toward nature. Resources are listed. Some links are included in online resources about Minamata.
Technology and Stress on the Environment
High schoolers build a bubble powered rocket and launch it. They examine the stress to their immediate environment, identify alternative choices, and assess the cost of repairing the damage. They relate their findings to other environmental stresses.
Get outside and engage learners in a compare-and-contrast activity about nature, animals, and the environment. The class discusses how to use a Venn diagram to compare two different animals. Then, they make observations of two animals found in the school yard, as they jot down notes in their animal books. Back in class, they use the Internet to further their research on the two animals. The lesson concludes as they complete filling out each page in their animal books.
Every Student Counts: Building a Positive Learning Environment
Join in the effort to end bullying through building a positive learning environment for everyone.
Regents High School Exam: Living Environment 2008
Tne New York Regents High School Examinations are comprehensive and include various styles of questions, includingmultiple choice and the analysis of graphs. This particular version, the 2008 Living Environment exam surveys a variety of topics. Not only do test takers answer questions about populations and habitats, they also show what they know about genetics, cell structure, cell transport, DNA, and protein synthesis.
New! The Great Spider Debate
Poor, misunderstood spiders! They are feared, disrespected, and detested by many people, yet they do so many positive things. A great addition to any insect unit, learn about some of the more common spiders, while hopefully dispelling some cases of arachnophobia. After reading about eight common spiders, the class goes in search of these critters to make field observations, some of which may be completed from kids' own homes. As it states in the lesson, the spiders should be observed, not touched, and certainly not squished. If a child finds a dangerous spider in his/her home, they should seek out an adult to relocate the spider outdoors; however, most arachnids found in the home actually keep the bug population to a minimum and do more good than harm. While it isn't expected that everyone will come away from the activities loving spiders, hopefully they will have a new appreciation and respect for the little guys.
New! Beneficial Bug Scavenger Hunt
Going on a scavenger hunt sounds like a great way to spice up any lesson plan. To better understand how beneficial insects are, the class goes outdoors to search for and observe a bug that has big benefits. Included in the lesson are images, a field observation sheet, a research sheet, and information on several key insects.
Boxes & Blocks: Puffer Bellies and Box Cars
Students turn cardboard boxes into outdoor dramatic play. In this early childhood visual arts lesson, students explore cooperative and dramatic play outdoors by challenging children to create a train from cardboard boxes.
Introduction to Saline Environments & Microbial Halophiles
If you do not mind wading through unrelated headings (This is not for a physics or STEM course, as it states.) and content (The lesson opens with an article about neurology, not halophiles.), then you will find a valuable resource on salt-loving microorganisms. A PowerPoint presentation introduces viewers to high salt environments, human impact on them, and what we might learn from the extremophiles that thrive in such places. A note-taking page, links to related articles, and a couple of fun extension activities are suggested. Enrich your microbiology unit with this resource!
What Is Natural?
Your junior highers will learn about which objects are natural and classify objects as abiotic or biotic. Your class will trace human products to their natural resources using matter cycles and then create their own definition of nature.
Students learn about a new culture. In this Native American environment lesson, students begin a unit on Native Americans where they learn about their homes and the environment they lived in. Students view pictures of Native American environments and record their observations.
Different animals live in distinct and specialized environments. Learners will discuss organisms and environments, and then create some using their dramatic art skills. They all act like animals in a marine environment. When they are finished, they discuss how each animal moved, what they saw, what they ate, and how they interacted with their environment.
Outdoor Activities/Games: Pendulum Play
Students play with an outdoor pendulum. In this early childhood lesson, students develop language skills and scientific knowledge while experimenting with a pendulum outdoors.
Giving an Outdoor Play
Students use outdoor play equipment as a "stage" for a favorite story. They read the story "Caps for Sale" and act out the parts sitting down. They reach over their heads to feel the caps and imitate the monkeys' motions and noises.
Outdoor Activities/Problem Solving: Math Goes to the Playground
Students build their math skills outdoors. For this early childhood math lesson, students use comparative language as they chart and graph the items on their playground.
Students explore the issues that influence our environment and research ways to decrease the negative impact that humans have on the environment. Misconceptions about environmental issues are addressed in this activity.