Spending time in nature affects us and our students in so many positive ways.
It reduces stress, calms the mind and helps us become more present. It allows us to understand and appreciate natural systems and can kindle a passion for environmental stewardship. It sparks creativity and gets us moving. It is an excellent way to build purposeful service and sustainability experiences for students. There are so many reasons why we should go outside!
If your school campus is in a green area, it might seem easier to align learning experiences with time outside. For teachers in urban settings, this may feel like a challenge, but nature and outdoor educator Kenny Peavy feels every educator can find ways of connecting nature to classroom learning, either by finding pockets of accessible nature or by bringing outdoor elements inside the classroom.
Kenny works at the Bali Green School where he regularly holds classes outside and takes students on nature walks to discover plants, insects and natural systems. He has been a passionate nature/outdoor/experiential educator for many years and in the videos below shares his experiences and wisdom.
Kenny has also written and published a book called The Box People, along with a resource guide for teachers to use the book and align content with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (resource linked at the end of this post). The guide is full of purposeful learning prompts and printables, and Kenny hopes to inspire teachers and students to get outside, value nature and consider sustainable ways of living.
The three videos (below) capture Kenny's reflections on how he teaches in/with nature at Bali Green School, his experience writing and publishing The Box People (if you've been thinking about self-publishing a book, you will find valuable tips here), and advice for teachers in urban settings.
After the videos, you can find a downloadable version of Kenny's resource guide, as well as some links to additional sources of information about how to inspire students to value and love the natural world. Happy exploring!
This website founded by outdoor educator Alex Moxon is replete with excellent resources and ideas for nature/outdoor/experiential education
Created by a team of Canadian educators, this site has many resources for educators including some PD opportunities in this realm.
This site is particularly useful for resources and ideas related to gardening and planting outside. There are some excellent resources here for elementary educators.