Why do we need nature?Nature has nurtured us for millennia. Our senses (touch, smell, hearing, seeing) and also our creativity have developed because of our contact with nature. We need nature to help us fully develop.
Why does nature need us?
Humans have changed most of the planet. Nature now needs us to sustain her. We need each other.
What are the benefits of learning/teaching outside?
All the senses are stimulated, thereby increasing the capacity to learn. Recent studies document the many ways in which learning outside and being in nature contribute to mental, physical and emotional health, as well as positive social development, greater self-confidence, and improved academic outcomes [link to list of key articles]
What can I teach outside?
Everything you teach in the classroom can be taught outside. Some subjects are obvious, but with some creativity other subjects do lend themselves to learning outside.
What about weather?
There is no bad weather; you just have to dress for the weather. We will show you some techniques.
What about perceived risks/dangers?
Prevention by ensuring your learning area is checked for hazards beforehand is the best strategy.
One of students is scared of bees? How do I address this?
Acknowledge the fear and determine if the fear is based on an allergy or a bad childhood encounter. If an allergy is the reason for concern, take all necessary precautions. Check the area to determine whether bees are present. Make sure the student has the necessary medication (and someone knows how to administer it!). Teach all students how to act around bees and other stinging insects (in general, be aware, stay calm, do not disturb or agitate the insects). A lawn with wildflowers will have bees – they are a part of nature. If the fear is learned from others or based on a bad encounter, a gradual introduction to being outside, starting with a few minutes at a time of outdoor learning, may be helpful. You can model curiosity and an interest in watching and learning about the insects discovered.
How do I ensure that my students are learning outside?
Check for understanding through discussions and inquiry.
How do I get my principal/teachers/parents on board?
Explain the mental and physical health benefits along with the increased learning that can occur outside. We also have sample letter to hand out.
Do you work with children under 5?
Yes, we work with all age groups.
How long are your sessions?
Half day and full day sessions are available. The half day sessions are 2 to 4 hours, and the full day session are 4 to 6 hours.
How many people can be included in a session?
As many as you want! As a rule of thumb, our ration is one trainer for 10 people. Most of the sessions are co-facilitated by two trainers. We can definitely accomodate bigger groups depending on the availability of the trainers.
Is there a cost?
Yes. However, subsidies are available to the first 20 schools who register for the 2016-2017 school year! For more information about the prices for community groups or other groups contact us.
Do you do school yard identification of animals and plants?
Yes, we do.
Do you include children with mental and physical handicaps?
Yes, we can with the assistance of the child’s teaching assistant.
Where do you offer your sessions?
The sessions are offered on site, where the educators work (schools, daycare, community centers, etc.). By being where they actually teach, they will learn to see the possibilities in their own school yards.
Do you do follow-up workshops?
Yes, we do check in with participants to see how the teaching is going and we also provide follow-up workshops focussed on teaching particular subjects or themes outside.
Will you come to my class to run an activity?
Definitely! Click here to book a session.