One of the most powerful audio-visual tools we have available to us is the outdoors.
In Schoolyard-Enhanced Learning , author Herbert W. Broda gives readers practical, teacher-tested suggestions for finding ways to turn outdoor activities--such as hiking and camping--into meaningful learning opportunities.
But planning outdoor excursions with students can be more complicated than it sounds. In Chapter 6, Herbert shows us how we can give students focused activities that will keep their minds aligned with the objectives of the hike. And after many years of hiking with kids, he has generated a helpful list of cautions and procedures that he shares here. Take a look!
Other Resources for Nature-Based Learning
Childhood and Nature
Wouldn't it be nice if children came home from school refreshed? Instead of the "What did you do in school today? Nothing." conversation, the response would be, "We followed the stream down to the river today, and learned all sorts of river words!" In Childhood and Nature: Design Principles for Educators, author David Sobel makes the case that meaningful connections with the natural world don't begin in the rainforest or arctic, but in our own backyards and communities. Based on his observations of recurrent play themes around the world, Sobel gives you seven design principles that can guide you in structuring learning experiences for children through place-based education projects.
To Look Closely
Whether it's a trickling stream, a grassy slope, or an abandoned rail line, the natural world offers teachers a wonderful resource around which to center creative, inquiry-based learning throughout the year. Nobody knows this better than veteran teacher Laurie Rubin. In To Look Closely: Science and Literacy in the Natural World, she demonstrates how nature study can help students become careful, intentional observers of all they see, growing into stronger readers, writers, mathematicians, and scientists in the process.