Learning Challenge inspiration from Mrs. Wardlow’s class!

One of our teacher participants from the 2021-22 Learning Challenge sent us a link to her blog, and we wanted to share it as registrations open for the upcoming fourth year of the Challenge! Have you signed up yet to join in?

Mrs. Wardlow’s kindergarten class uses the local green space in a nearby park for their weekly outdoor learning time. You can check out all their adventures and get some great activity ideas by checking out her blog where she documents all the fun!

Near the end of the 2021-22 school year, she wrote about how her class got involved to advocate for the park they’d grown to care about. While playing there each week, the students sometimes noticed garbage, and observed there was no place to put it.

After creating posters to reach out to the community, the class also wrote to the city about the issue. And the city responded! This simple act of stewardship resulted in city workers cleaning up the park, and later installing two garbage cans in the park where there weren’t any before.

We often talk about the benefits of outdoor learning to those engaging with it; and while those still ring true, we love to see examples where the positive outcomes extend into the community and create a sense of belonging to those spending time in green spaces and natural areas. Disposing of waste properly is one of the seven principles of ‘Leave No Trace’ activities, and we think Mrs. Wardlow’s class did an amazing job spearheading this important initiative.

Whether you’re learning outdoors in a park, a school yard, or heading into the back country with your class, there’s always an opportunity to leave a space better than you found it.

Check out Mrs. Wardlow’s blog for the whole story!

If you’d like to explore more resources as you begin the school year and jump into outdoor learning opportunities, check out our online library here! The Council of Outdoor Educators of Ontario (COEO) has also published a fantastic step-by-step guide as you’re getting started: it can be found in both English and French.

Feeling inspired? Make sure to register for the 2022-23 Take Me Outside for Learning Challenge by Friday November 4th! You’ll receive monthly activities, resources, and professional development opportunities straight to your inbox, all while joining thousands of other educators passionate about outdoor learning. Sign up through our English or French pages today!

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