"Today my belief in an integrated learning experience for my students remains resolute. I am confident that such an experience can be developed within the context of the ever-shifting state and federal learning standards. I am convinced that nature study is the child-centered program that can integrate critical thinking skills in science, mathematics, and language arts." - Laurie rubin
In Laurie Rubin's book To Look Closely: Science and Literacy in the Natural World, Rubin reflects on what she learned by taking her second grade students outdoors for weekly stream study excursions. Rubin taught first and second grade in Ithaca, New York for 23 years. In To Look Closely, Rubin chronicles a year of experiences at the stream. She shares strategies for teaching outdoors, and discusses how to integrate the skills students acquire through nature study into every subject.
The David Suzuki Foundation of Vancouver, British Columbia published the Nature as a Classroom guide for teachers in April 2015. The Foundation developed the guide after holding a series of teacher workshops, in which teachers discussed strategies for teaching outdoors and brainstormed ways to reduce barriers to taking students outside.
Journey North, a global study of wildlife migration and seasonal change, is a free internet-based program presented by Annenberg Learner, a division of the Annenberg Foundation. Journey North engages students and citizen scientists around the globe in tracking wildlife migration and seasonal change. Journey North offers the teacher guide Observe, Describe, Wonder: Building Inquiry Into Instruction. This resource helps teachers to:
The Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California, Berkeley developed the Full Option Science System (FOSS) curriculum. The FOSS program offers science notebook resources for teachers designed for grades K-2, grades 3-6, and middle school.
Cornell advocates the "Flow Learning™ sequence." He discusses Flow Learning in the video above. Stage one involves activities that awaken enthusiasm, with the goal of fostering playfulness and alertness. Stage two involves activities that focus attention. Receptivity is the goal of these activities. Stage three offers direct experience to participants, with activities that promote communing with nature. And, in stage four, participants share inspiration by engaging in activities that promote idealism. Cornell provides the age level for each of his activities. The “Sound Map” activity, for instance, helps to focus the attention of children (and adults) ages 5 and older.
Sharing Nature® Worldwide. "Flow Learning." Online video clip. Sharing Nature® Worldwide. Sharing Nature® Worldwide, 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2016. Used with permission of Sharing Nature® Worldwide.
This collection of resources provides inspiration and strategies for teachers to support outdoor learning opportunities.