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“what about this lesson requires me to stay inside?”

Once you look at your planning through this lens, you’ll realize that almost everything you already know how to do as an elementary school teacher can be effectively re-located outdoors!

Be patient with yourself and follow your instincts.

~ Megan Zeni ~

What core routines will you set up outdoors? 

Forms

Local Nature Educators,

Programs & Guests

Outdoor Learning Checklist

  • Inform Parents & Administration if going off school grounds
  • Outdoor classroom expectations developed with class
  • Message on classroom door of whereabouts (optional)
  • Student materials
  • First Aid Kit
  • Sound signalling device (ex. harmonica, bells, whistle)
  • Cell Phone with school contacts
  • Watch

Decomposer-Scavenger Hunt

Printable

Full decomposer lesson HERE

Meet a Tree

Printable

Nature Based ActivitiesEnvironmental Education Clipart Free| (43)++ Photos on This Page ...

Click the PDF link to see a list of some of my favourite, simple, outdoor activities to do outdoors with your students/children.

Outdoor Nature Based Activities Ideas

This Phenomenal presentation by Emma Marris is motivating and validating.  Nature is everywhere.  After watching this you will view your school grounds, neighbourhoods, and community through a different lens.  There are opportunities for learning everywhere you just have to open to it. 

Into Nature | Back to Nature NetworkThis resources will walk  you through the steps to get ready to taking your students outdoors.  It includes an outdoor learning vision statement, readiness checklist and sample letters to administration and parents.  This is a great pace to get started with your planning. 

Click HERE for a PDF copy of the guide.

Related imageSit Spot

Sit Spots are a great way to Get-Out-of-Doors with minimal prep.  It will take time for them to get in the routine but guarantee they will look forward to it if you do it often enough.  Consider  starting with group sits spots, then move into individual sit spots slowly increasing the time.

Thank you to Naomi Radawiec with School District 71-Comox Valley for the great sit spot resources. Check out her class book of sit spot experiences below, their class Math-in-Nature video, and her student sit-spot guide.

Click HERE for some sit spot cues to help guide your students focus.  Consider choosing one for them to work during each sit spot time. 

Math in the Forest

Below are a few Outdoor Learning Blogs with fantastic quick ideas to get you started.  All these will leave room for emergent learning opportunities. Trust that you have all the skills as an educator to take learning outdoors. 

Busy, green Homma students a neighbourhood fixture | Richmond NewsSchool Garden Workshops

This amazing resource will get you going.  Resources include taking core academics outdoors, seasonal activities, teacher resources, books, workshops and much more. 

Art in the Outdoors | Outdoor Learning Wales   Learning With Outdoors-Blog

Wild About Vancouver (WAV) » Outdoor Play Canada  Wild About Vancouver- Lesson Ideas

The Seventh Principle of Leave No Trace | PMags.comAn opportunity to explore human impact on the outdoors.  If we follow the simple 7 steps to no trace we will continue to be able to enjoy the outdoors in a sustainable way.  

The Big Book of Nature Activities: A Year-Round Guide to Outdoor Learning:  Amazon.ca: Rodenburg, Jacob, Monkman, Drew: Books A Year-Round Guide to Outdoor Learning

The average child can identify over 300 corporate logos, but only 10 native plants or animals—a telling indictment of our modern disconnection from nature. Soaring levels of obesity, high rates of ADHD, feelings of stress and social awkwardness and “Nature Deficit Disorder” are further unintended consequences of a childhood spent primarily indoors.

The Big Book of Nature Activities is a comprehensive guide for parents and educators to help youth of all ages explore, appreciate and connect with the natural world. This rich, fully illustrated compendium features:

  • Nature-based skills and activities such as species identification, photography, journaling and the judicious use of digital technology
  • Ideas, games and activities grounded in what’s happening in nature each season
  • Core concepts that promote environmental literacy, such as climate change and the mechanisms and wonder of evolution, explained using a child-friendly, engaging approach
  • Lists of key species and happenings to observe throughout the year across most of North America.

Great Outdoor Games for Kids! Enjoy these super fun, nature based ...Nature Based Games

Here is a great list to start from for field and forest games to play with your students.  They take little prep and are a fun interactive, and energetic way to learn about the natural environment.

Includes:

Circle Games  —  Cooperative Games —  Adaptive or Special Needs Games  —  Dramatic Games  —  High Activity Games  —  Large Group Games  —  Nature Games  —  Camp Games  —  Quick and Easy Games  —  Rainy Day Games  —  Sports Orientated Games  —  Tag Games  —  Water Games

Click here  for more nature based outdoor games

logo (2).pngHabitat and Conservation Trust Foundation – WildBC

Free well-established lesson ideas on a broad number of topics, Grades k-9

  • ​​​​​​​​Energy, Atmosphere, climate
  • ​​​​​Earth, eco-systems, ecology​
  • ​​​​​​Plants Animals Habitat
  • ​​​​​Water, wetlands, Watersheds
  • ​​​​​Outdoors Projects and places
  • ​​​ Teachers Tips and Tricks
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Project WILD is an interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education program that focuses on wildlife and habitat. The goal of Project WILD is to develop awareness, knowledge, skills, and commitment resulting in informed decisions, responsible behavior, and constructive actions concerning wildlife and the environment. ​​

Vancouver Top 20 Birds

How to attract, the right foods, great information on migration and nesting habits and more. 

  • Chickadees
  • Woodpeckers
  • Jays 
  • Finches
  • Robins  ……. and many more

Image result for comox valley glacier  Comox Valley Parks/Trail Systems

Consider walking, biking, or taken public transit to some of our amazing and accessable park and trail systems in the Comox Valley.  

The picture will link you to a website designed for Comox Valley teachers to re-introduce you to some of our local parks: produced by fifth year students at VIU-Vancouver Island University as one of their final projects. 

Here are a few more to consider (let’s keep adding to the list):

  • Browns River
  • Bevan Trails
  • BC Hydro Puntledge River Trails
  • Nymph Falls
  • Cumberland Lake Wilderness Society Trails
  • Comox Valley Green Way and Brooklyn Creek Trail System
  • Williams Beach
  • Kitty Coleman
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Canadian Wild Life Federation has resources that help fit Environmental and Outdoor content to the curriculum, provides unit plans, and individual lessons.  Use the filter to narrow your search on the topic and grade level. 
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A wide range of nature and conservation topic lesson plans available from K-high school​.
logo-david-suzuki-foundation.jpg A guide to help get kids outside.  Scroll to bottom of the page to down load the four free resources.  Grades K, 1-3, 4-6
By Jon Young, Ellen Haas, and Evan McGown
Coyote mentoring is a method of learning that has been refined over thousands of years, based on instilling the need-to-know. Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature, 2nd Edition reveals this approach and what happens to student and teacher during the mentoring process. Strategies like questioning, storytelling, tracking, mapping, and practicing survival skills will inspire student curiosity and encourage self-sufficiency. Background information will help parents, teachers and others feel more confident in introducing children to new ways of experiencing and learning about the natural world.