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Ideas for classroom outdoors and learning as you explore the neighborhood - part 2

Outings around the school are all opportunities for a multitude of discoveries and learning. Second part of our article on the outdoor classroom, which presents activities for different subjects.

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Outings around the school are all opportunities for a multitude of discoveries and learning. A first article presented you with activities to do outside for French and mathematics, today here are some suggestions to explore for other subjects.

Social universe

Toponymy

We usually read the street names without asking a question. Going out with the intention of writing down the names of streets, parks, places of worship and schools and then researching these people who have marked history can lead to great discoveries. It is also a great opportunity to open up to culture.

Cards

Observing the neighborhood map regularly before or after outings allows students to create landmarks, reflect on ways to orient themselves, suggest paths to take, understand the elements of a map (colored landmarks and the symbols of the legend). By using a map on the digital board, you can add details as you go out.

Observation of traces of the past

Invite the children to locate the signs of time in the natural environment (large trees, sedimentary rocks, ephemeral butterflies) and in infrastructures and buildings (rust, architecture, wear and tear, statue…). They can then be asked to put pictures of the items found on a timeline, or to compare these items with their year of birth and that of their parents.

Arts

Appreciate the aesthetics

Discovering the architecture and aesthetic elements in the city is also an opportunity to discover art and appreciate it. Do you know why we add artistic elements to buildings? Why do municipalities install works of art or flower arrangements in parks, roundabouts, etc.?

Color gradient

Before creating a work, why not find the different shades of green (or another color) in the environment (grass, leaves, caterpillar, street name poster, park bench…). Gluing elements or photos of them on cardboard reminds us of how to mix colors.

Keep pace

In music, it can be fun to go outside and record sounds and combine them with mixing software to create rhythms and melodies.

Ah! How snow has snowed!

The evergreens in winter or the colors of the autumn leaves create small scenes to perform extracts from plays or to interpret poetry readings aloud.

Science and technology

Observation of animal habitats

The site Biogenus offers information on the various ecosystems in detailed files on the fauna, flora, fungi and habitats of Quebec. By bringing the portable digital devices, it will be relevant to stop in front of an American crow to read the characteristics of the bird. Note that it is also possible to send our findings to the Biogenus site to enrich their bank, a beginning of initiation to citizen science!

Observation of the different tree barks

Do all trees have the same bark? Can we recognize them by it? The initiation to plant identification is much more fun in a forest than in the classroom. You can use the identification guides or the app Kali at the camp which is designed to list and identify trees during outings.

Ethics and Religious Culture

Places of worship

There may be places of worship in the neighborhood of the school to visit, or you can just go and sit in the church square to read a Jacques Goldstyn album. Another pretext to generate a great talk.

Connect with neighbors

Going out in the neighborhood is an opportunity to interact with people in the community. During holidays like Valentine's Day, why not drop off cards or decorations in the mailboxes of neighbors at school. Creating small bonds between children and people helps to reduce generational barriers.

Physical and health education

A good health walk

Walking a good distance with a pace to keep up with everyone is in itself healthy physical activity that encourages good health habits.

Play in the park

The outing can also bring children to play in the modules of a park. They then learn to play prudently, to share a space, to take their turn, to manage risk and they have fun in groups.

Before leaving

Before embarking on the outside class, it is necessary to establish the framework of these activities with the children. Always give explanations in the same place, in the classroom before leaving or around the same tree on the school grounds. Establish with the children the intention of the outing. Recalling the civic and safety instructions does not ensure the success of the outing, but certainly brings the success of the objective closer.

A backpack with the necessary equipment always ready is practical: pencils, boards with clips, magnifying glass, species identification guide, cell phone, digital tablet, but also Epipen and mini-first aid kit. If you plan to go out often, parents should be advised that children will need appropriate clothing. 

Last tip, don't forget to go to the bathroom before leaving.

Come on, get out!

To start your outdoor class, consult the Carrefour Éducation guide The outdoor classroom in response to COVID-19.

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