Many teachers are not comfortable
in outdoor classroom settings
Entice people outside in winter
- Create a winter, community-day festival with food and hot cider.
- Develop a Quest based on the winter landscape.
- Have volunteers run small family groups on snowshoe treks with a bonfire at the end!
- Read Bernd Heinrich’s Winter World in an educator book group and explore outing possibilities.
Streamline logistics for getting kids outside in small groups
- Give long advance notice to parents so they can save the date for volunteering.
- Involve students in logistics: put them in charge of organizing themselves and their parents.
- Involve local college students in projects as service-learning opportunities (most colleges have a community outreach office that helps place interested students connect with local organizations and schools).
- Organize class into groups or task forces, giving each group specific responsibilities once you get out in the field.
Simplify and economize around transportation needs
- Start by going to places you can walk to.
- Get parent volunteers to drive.
- Travel by bicycle to extend your range.
Develop projects and units where nature and culture blend
- Extend growing season with a student-designed and student-built greenhouse.
- Apply for a grant for a summer intern to maintain the school garden.
- Plug in to existing college or community resource monitoring projects (water, stream, air quality, habitat mapping, tracking studies, wetlands, bikepaths and trails, etc.)
- Avoid mismatched school year and growing seasons by focusing on fall crops: grapes, apples, pumpkins, or spring regenerations in nature.
- Focus on wild foraging. Find out what spring and fall food and fiber crops students can gather and use.