Using Lincoln Grows with the classroom
This is a list of activities to meet educational curriculum. This is certainly not exhaustive, but to provide a starting point in how the space can be used. Teachers can lead these activities or contact PTA to see about having volunteers assist or lead these as well.
Exploring Plant Dyes
If you are new to using an outdoor space, or would like some tips on using Lincoln Grows, here is a guide from Nebraska Game & Parks Commission: Nebraska Project WILD
Tips for Teaching Outside and Using Your Outdoor Classroom
Printable copy – Outdoor classroom Rules.
• Begin using the outdoor classroom early in the school year. Students will become accustomed to learning
outside and soon it will not be viewed as “recess.”
• Establish rules for when you are in the outdoor classroom. Ask students to help establish the rules. Rules
could include: * Stay with the group, don’t run off. * Respect all plants, animals, objects, and people in the outdoor classroom. * Always listen to speakers. * When you hear the whistle (or bell, or horn, etc.) it is time to meet to come in.
- Before heading outside, give directions for the activity. Explain all directions and timeline for students (“We will be in the outdoor classroom for 40 minutes, the first 20 minutes we will be exploring, the second 20 minutes, I would like you to investigate).
- Once outside, remind students to stay on task. Walk around to help students explore and answer any questions they may have.
- Model the behavior you would like to see in students. Do not sit aside while students are exploring and investigating. Join students in their explorations – this validates the student’s learning and shows them that the learning they are doing is important.
- Give students a 5-minute warning when you are preparing to head inside. This allows students a chance to finish their activity and mentally prepare to transition to a new activity.
- If possible, provide students with choices of activities when in the outdoor classroom. For example, allow students to collect quantitative date (air temperature, wind speed) or qualitative data (sunny, cloudy, breezy). This will not be possible with each activity, but it is a nice option for students to be able to direct their own learning.
- Remember to allow students to have fun in the outdoor classroom. Try to have some time spent in the classroom with no direct result… just free time for exploration.