Outdoor Education Teacher Resources

Find Outdoor Education educational ideas and activities

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In this South Asia reading guide, students use a graphic organizer and answer several questions based on their reading to illustrate their understanding of South Asia's human-environment interaction.
Raise children's awareness about the importance of conservation with this hands-on science lesson. Start by breaking the class into groups and having them collect trash from around the school or local park. Students then use the provided Venn diagram to sort the items they found based on their ability to be reduced, reused, or recycled. Include this lesson as part your class's Earth Day celebration or as a supplement to an elementary science unit on ecosystems or the environment.
Community leaders try to make choices that protect the community and the environment. Little ones learn about how tribal communities look to their chief to guide the decision-making process. Your class will become part of the community at large when they create and send "No littering!" signs to leaders throughout their local community. They will also ask these leaders to post their signs in their offices, buildings, or work spaces.
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.
Students examine deforestation and the effects of deforestation on the environment as well as the effects it has on specific people. Students research an area in the world where deforestation is taking place and present their information to the class.
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. 
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 plan, 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. 
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. 
Young scholars develop gross-motor and listening skills. In this early childhood music and movement lesson plan, students coordinate movements to the rhythm of music and an action of a flowing parachute in order to develop gross motor skills.
Students take a close-up look at the things around them. In this early childhood hands-on science activity, students investigate objects and develop observation skills as they work together to make a variety of rubbings.
Students get footloose and funny as they paint with their feet. In this early childhood visual arts lesson, students use large-motor skills to paint with their feet and observation skills to describe what they see.
Here are a few ideas to freshen up your classroom environment.
Sometimes it's good to challenge our kids with thought-provoking topics. They'll have to think hard and use what they know to answer these essay questions. They'll discuss how and why developed nations put a strain on the world's resources, why developing nations may recent pollution control policies, and the struggle nations have to develop while maintaining the environment. 
Here is a instructional activity 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.
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.
Step into the great outdoors and develop young scientists' skills of observation with a nature journaling lesson. Given a specific focus or goal, children practice making and recording observations of nature through written descriptions and detailed sketches. Once students become comfortable with this activity, it can be repeated as a supplement to elementary science units on just about any topic.
Sixth graders mark activity stations and locations of important buildings on a grid map of an outdoor education school. This is a practical application for the skill of graphing points in the four quadrants of the coordinate plane.
Students practice problem solving skills. For this early childhood education lesson, students foster the ability to use creative and critical thinking to turn obstacles into bridges to greater learning as they complete various activities and discuss them.
Students investigate house structures by examining photographs.  In this architecture activity, students read the book Houses and Homes, analyzing the different structures and materials.  Students utilize mud to create model huts in an outdoor environment.
Students discover that gadgets make marvelous sounds. In this early childhood lesson plan, students develop creative-thinking skills as they create their own instruments.

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