Outdoor Teaching and Learning
Did you know that federal Elementary & Secondary Schools Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds can be used to support environmental and outdoor education activities?! The Illinois State Board of Education has allocated $512 million directly to Illinois school districts through ESSER and districts are deciding right now what to do with it.
Please see the following documents for more information or reach out to EEAI Executive Director, Brekke Bounds if you have any questions; firstname.lastname@example.org
Then, please reach out to your school-based partners as well as your home school district and ask that environmental and outdoor education activities be included in their plan, activities such as:
Resources to Increase Outdoor Teaching and Learning
Start With the Why
To build a supportive network of educators, administrators and community members is it important that everyone understand WHY outdoor learning is vital for students.
- Green Schoolyards America – Why Green Schoolyards
- Children and Nature Network – Nature can Improve Academic Outcomes
- National Wildlife Federation – Benefits of Schoolyard Habitats
Just like teaching indoors, outdoor teaching and learning comes with challenges and implementation strategies.
Plan the Space
From evaluating your current space, examining available resources and deciding the first elements that are needed to increase outdoor teaching and learning there are resources to help any school or learning facility design and plan out their outdoor learning spaces.
- Nature Explore – Outdoor Classroom Design
- CDC – Shade Planning for Schools
- Project Learning Tree – Tips and Tricks for Creating an Outdoor Classroom
- Green Schoolyard America – Creating Outdoor Spaces
- Site Design Group – Space to Grow Schoolyards
Educators from all over the world are now engaging in more outdoor teaching than ever before. Find ways to connect, learn and share ideas with other educators passionate about teaching outdoors.