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Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!

Here in the northern hemisphere, we are enjoying the spring weather!


Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

We still have to teach. but we might as well teach while enjoying the beautiful weather and getting those kiddos outside! Here are some of my ideas!

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

This one is pretty obvious! They have to read every day.  Why not bring it outside? If you want to go all out, have them bring in towels to sit or lie on while reading. Other options: partner reading, or teacher read alouds!

I do find sometimes a little bribery motivation is necessary. "If you don't stay focused on your books, we will have to bring them back inside."

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

There are loads of engineering projects that can be done outside!  Children can use sand, grass, rocks or sticks to create all sorts of things! Here are a few ideas:

1. Create a sundial.
2. Make a tall rock tower.
3. Make a shadow creature.
4. Take tubs of water outside and maybe a few classroom materials to create "boats" that float!

This is only the beginning. If you search "Outdoor S.T.E.M." on Pinterest or google it, I'll bet you find a TON of ideas!

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

You'll need some sidewalk chalk for this. 



Have equal teams, and a list of math facts or math problems they can solve. 



One team member at a time takes the chalk, runs to the other end of the defined area, write the problem with the correct answer, and run back. (It's a good idea to have another adult at the other end to check their math!) 



When they get back, the next person gets the chalk and a new problem.


I suggest making the running area on grass or "soft top," and the writing area on the hard top.

They'll be so busy having fun and burning off steam, they won't even know they're practicing important facts!


Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

Sketching is an important science skill!


Scientists need to notice details, and look for differences!


Direct students to pick a specific spot to sketch. (One with some sort of vegetation is best!)  A week later, they can go back to the same spot. As they re-sketch, hopefully they will notice differences.

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.
3 Seasons of our class tree!
Notice the winter tree was photographed from inside the screened window!


I've had my groups choose a "class tree" in the fall, and we will often go out to sketch the tree. As the year progresses, they re-sketch, and definitely notice differences!
One little secret, I've been very good at convincing the children to choose the tree right outside our class window. That way, they can sketch from inside in the winter! (No one wants to sit in snow and sketch!)

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

Just like reading, story writing can be brought outdoors easily! They can continue stories they were working on, make up a story about what they see, or write nature poetry. Again, reminding the children this is a privilege helps them stay focused!


If you're interested in a little outdoor Science or Social Studies with reading and writing skills thrown in, check out this: Science and Social Studies for Summer

Most of these activities are designed for the outdoors, and you definitely don't have to wait for summer!

Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!  There's something special about being outside, and it's a great place to practice important skills.

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