Seven everyday outdoor lesson ideas to inspire your teaching this year

17th January 2018

Outdoor Classroom Day is about more than just one day of celebration, inspiration and exploration. The end goal is more time outdoors every day, both at school and at home.

There’s no need to wait for the next Outdoor Classroom Day to take learning outdoors, you can start now with these seven great lesson plans suitable for children of different ages. Try them, share them, adapt them. And prepare to be amazed.

1.Mirror mirror

This lesson explores position and movement, a fundamental part of the mathematics curriculum throughout all key stages. Gather natural objects and look at using rotation and symmetry to create natural artwork. Use the work of Andy Goldsworthy to inspire your creations!

2.Make an Outdoor Museum

Turn your grounds into an outdoor museum and bring history to life! Learn about the history of play, think about how toys and games have changed over time. Ask the children to research what their parents and grandparents played with. Great for a history, ICT or language lesson.

3.Robert’s Little Finger

Mathematical concepts are often easier for children to process when they’re outdoors, especially kinesthetic learners. This activity teaches children about ratios and requires collaboration. Children work together to make a scale model of someone in their group using natural materials they first must collect.

4.Pyramid Patterns

This activity, aimed at primary-aged children uses natural objects to investigate the mathematical concepts of patterns, probability and chance. It is interactive, challenging and surprisingly absorbing!

5.Care for a weed

A great lesson for winter and spring as we start to see plant growth. What signs of spring can the children find? Ask the children to write a poem about the weed, encouraging nature literacy. A great foundation for a longer project, you can monitor the plants’ growth weekly. How are the plants affected by different weather patterns? Easily adapted for different learning needs, explore the many possibilities of this lesson plan!

6.Construct a mini cairn 

Simple and fun, this activity incorporates art, physics and cooperation. Ask the children to find stones suitable for building the cairn and to work in teams. For young children, it’s a great exercise for fine motor skills.

7.Human line graphs

This activity is great for helping primary-aged children to visualise graphs. Construct a giant graph using rope and number each axis with natural materials. The numbers can be measured out by the children using paces. Use the graph to explore interesting nature-based observations!

Bonus tip:

Sign up for Outdoor Classroom Day 2018! Get a head start on your outdoor adventures by signing up your class or whole school to Outdoor Classroom Day on 17 May or 1 November, or both!

We hope you enjoy these lesson plans. Share your experiences and learning with us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram by using #OutdoorClassroomDay.

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Thank you for supporting Outdoor Classroom Day!

Thanks for joining the movement we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂 Check out the resources tabs for ideas for the day – and to make learning and play part of every day!

Wohoo! Top marks for signing up!!!

Thanks for joining the movement, we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂

Thank you for supporting Outdoor Classroom Day!

We’ll send you a newsletter shortly. Time to play is critical for every child – share your moments with us by tagging #OutdoorClassroomDay and make every day a day to learn and play outdoors!

Wohoo! Top marks for signing up!!!

Thanks for joining the movement, we can’t wait to see what you get up to on the day! Please share this with your colleagues and friends to help us make it possible for every child to get outdoors to learn and play every day 🙂

Thank you for supporting Outdoor Classroom Day!

We’ll send you a newsletter shortly. Time to play is critical for every child – share your moments with us by tagging #OutdoorClassroomDay and make every day a day to learn and play outdoors!

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