Five ways to take learning outside

As we’re approaching the end of the school year and the start of summer vacation, learning doesn’t need to stop! Here is a list of five outdoor education ideas to get your students outside and adventuring:

1. Web of Life activity: Read an interactive story with your students to explore how everything in nature is connected. Make it more meaningful by incorporating local plants and animals that you may find along a nature walk in your community.

2. Complete the Pollinator Backyard Activity Guide: From the National Environmental Education Week website, the guide is an excellent way to identify and investigate your own backyard and all of the different flowers and animals that live there.

3. Identify a local water source that you can swap into the activity, Who Polluted the Potomac. When the activity has local connections, it not only provides a real-world connection, but it also increases the accountability with your students. You can do the activity on the water’s shore or, Extend take a field trip afterwards to pick up trash on the water’s bank.

4. A great way to get your students up and out of the classroom and exploring their communities is by geocaching! It’s important for students to experience and appreciate nature, and what better way than by having an adventure. Geocaching uses GPS technology to challenge participants to navigate to a set of coordinates and then try to find a hidden geocache (item) at a location within your community. Check out the website for caches near you.

5. Help to track the bee population. Join in a nationwide effort of monitoring bees by counting the number and types of bees that are found around sunflowers and other plants in your area. With data collected from the public, the Great Sunflower Project determines where the bee population is strong or weak compared to averages. You can plant flowers that attract bees to try to help increase populations in your area.