December 2022 Outdoor Learning Ideas
#TMO4LearningChallenge: Activity Ideas for December!
In this post, we’re passing on some of the ideas we share with our 4500+ Learning Challenge participants each month to support their commitment of weekly outdoor learning. For those who are not a part of this challenge, you can still have access to these outdoor learning ideas through our blog posts! We hope they also equip you with inspiration for your time outside. Let the fun, celebration, and connection to the earth begin! If you try one of these ideas we would love to hear how it went! Please email us (email@example.com) or tag us on Instagram (@take.me.outside) or Twitter (@takemeoutside)!
❄️ Snowbank Studies
Here is an idea from a 21/22 Learning Challenge Educator who wrote to us explaining this outdoor learning activity they did last year: “We did a Grade 9 science lab outside in the middle of winter! Students had to take different measures on the formation of a snow bank. They had to do an on-scale drawing of the layers forming the bank, identify the different types of snow and measure the snow density. It was cold and windy but the students loved the challenge!”
❄️ Melting Snow
When snow melts, where does it go? Gather snow in a see-through container and observe how it melts. Before the snow melts, mark the height of the snow on the side of the container and ask students what they think will happen, and speculate why. Does the temperature influence change? How else is it influencing volume and mass? When the snow has melted in the container, mark the water level. Why does the water take up significantly less space than the snow? Now, take the container back outside and bring it back in the next day. Why does the ice take up more space than the water but less space than the original snow? But don’t stop there! Clickhere for more ideas from theRobertson Program at the University of Toronto!
❄️ 100 Track Challenge
The challenge is simple: Follow an animal and count 100 tracks (aka footprints). Do your best to find each track, and make sure you keep an eye out for scat and an ear out for bird alarms. Below are some tips to help get you going. If you don’t think you need them, neither do we! Go out and get tracking! Want more activity ideas from our friends atThe Pine Project? Here are three more: 1)Fancy Feather Friends, 2)Tree Potpourri, 3)Meet a Tree!
Outdoor Learning Resources
Grades: 3 -12
Areas of focus: Ecology, science, place-based learning, climate change, seasonal changes
“The Climate Change Educators Community Hub website is a platform for teachers, profs, and educators of all kinds to exchange knowledge and ideas, share best practices and lesson plans, keep up-to-date on the latest climate change education research, and stay connected with other educators in New Brunswick. This website is a Community of Practice in action!”
“Thinking outside the classroom: transforming Canadian schoolyards into dynamic environments for learning, growing and playing.
As a “How-To Guidebook,” the Outdoor PLAYbook offers a selection of leading research and best practices for school grounds in the following areas: landscape architecture, sustainable design, economic and phasing strategies, child development, injury prevention, and outdoor educational opportunities.
Please note that any design decisions are subject to approval by your local school authority, such as the Vancouver School Board, and the images and projects shown are for inspirational purposes only.
The Outdoor PLAYbook is an ongoing research project, and is continually being adapted and refined.”
Grades: K – 12
Areas of focus: Experiential education, hands-on learning, loose parts play, stewardship
This book provides a wealth of kid-tested ideas contributed by educators from across North America, covering a wide spectrum of environmental topics and presenting a large diversity of practical projects and learning strategies. While the book focuses on helping kids develop a strong connection with the natural world, there are many articles that focus on the social and global aspects of our environment.
UPCOMING FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
- Learning for a Sustainble Future / L’Éducation au service de la Terre – Action Project Funding/ Financement de projets d’action($500)
- Applications accepted on a rolling basis
- TD Canada Trust –TD Friends of the Environment Foundation Grant (no min or max request amount)
- Winter submission due: January 15th 2023
- PHE Canada – Access to Action Grant Program (up to $20,000)
- Applications due February 28th 2023