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Top Ideas for Taking Your Lessons Outside

Crisp blue skies, amazing temperatures and picture-perfect days. This time of year is THE BEST time to take your learning outside! 🌞


We recently asked our social media friends and family about their favourite activities and lessons to do outside with their class and have compiled them here just for you. Read on to get some more ideas, and watch out; you may never want to teach inside again!


💛 Number Representations: Use sticks to create five and ten frames, then give students a number they need to represent in the frames. You could also ask students to use natural materials found outside to represent their given number in as many ways as possible (ie. groups of objects, make the numeral with leaves, create a tally system with small twigs).

💛 Repeating Patterns: Using materials found outside, work in pairs to create a repeating pattern. How complex can the pattern be? AB, AAB, ABC, AABB; options are endless.

💛 Measurement: Have students find a stick no taller than themselves. (Top tip for working with sticks: show students that when they are working with sticks, they walk around holding their thumb over the point with the other end facing the ground). Have students first work in small groups to order the sticks from shortest to longest, then move together as a whole class and order their sticks.

💛 Data Collection: Ask students to collect 10 different nature items and then pair up with another student to group their items according to similarities. Encourage students to then display these in lines like a bar graph.

💛 Skip Counting: Make collections of items for the skip counting pattern you are creating (ie. 2s, 5s, 10s) and practice skip counting.

💛 Numerals: Draw numerals with chalk on the pavement, or with sticks in the sand or dirt.



💛 Reading: Read outside, in any format! Read a story as a whole class, have students read individually or in pairs. Invite older students along to read to younger students.

💛 Creative Writing: Go on a hunt for the perfect narrative provocation. Lay on tummies in front of garden beds and imagine the characters you might discover in this setting.

💛 Spelling: Use chalk to write spelling words on the concrete or sticks to draw them in the dirt or sand.

💛 Word mapping: Use sticks to create elkonian boxes for CVC words – students can jump in the boxes as they say each sound in the word.

💛 Adjectives: Collect an item from nature and either list descriptive words, or write a descriptive sentence about the item.

💛 Procedure Writing: Build a sandcastle and then write a procedure to show the steps taken. You could have students take a photo at each stage as well.

💛 Phonics: Go on a phonics scavenger hunt. Can students find items around the school to start with each letter of the alphabet?


💛 5 Senses: Lay on the grass for 10 minutes asking students to think about their five senses. Afterwards discuss what students could see, hear, feel, touch and taste.

💛 Light: Place a toy out in the playground and monitor the shadows of items throughout the day. Students could draw the shadows at different intervals.

💛 Changing States: Place some ice cubes in the sun and watch them change. How about ice-cubes in the shade? On the grass? Sand? Which melt faster?

💛 Living Things: How many living things can you find in the outdoor environment? Do their habitats meet their needs? Can you see examples of human impact on the natural environment?

💛 Man-made VS Natural: Go on a hunt and tally things you see that are man-made and things that are natural in your school environment.

💛 Weather and the 5 Senses: Observe the weather and think about what you can see, feel, hear and smell related to the weather.



These are just a few ideas- although, why not grab your workbooks and pencil cases and take any old lesson outdoors! There is an incredible amount of research into the benefits of being outdoors both mentally and physically, doing wonders not only for your student’s health but yours too! 🌞


What are some of your favourite lessons to take outside?


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