I was one of those kids that loved to be outside. But I also loved school. What a dream if you could do both! Well, you can. A Department of Elementary and Secondary Education grant thru Missouri State University allowed staff from the Missouri Department of Conservation to help 28 local teachers let nature be the teacher for their students.
Some things are pretty easy to teach outside – plant identification and food chains for example. But what about telling time? Or the Scientific method? Or how about Non-fiction reading? The Missouri outdoors is perfect for many concepts that teachers have to teach, but are sometimes lost on students in the classroom. In general, the outdoors provides a much better atmosphere to engage children in developing those critical thinking skills. For instance, could you come up with an estimate of how many worms there are per acre? Or how many holes are in a sweetgum ball? These are great questions! They’re also great opportunities to let your students figure ways to problem solve. These types of questions help students learn how to think—not what to think.
Interested in learning more about taking education outside at your school? Contact your local Conservation Education Consultant. Not sure who that is? Check out the Related Information link below and let nature be your teacher.