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Outdoor End-of-the-Year Learning Activities

Outdoor End-of-the-Year Learning Activities

Great weather plus the end of testing season equals the ability to take classroom learning outside. Students love the departure from the norm and teachers love the engagement. But taking your class outside without a plan can lead to things going awry. Add these activities to your lesson plans and you will breathe fresh air in no time.

Field day

Although a field day with prescribed games and activities is still fun, it can also reinforce what’s going on in the classroom by providing the day with a theme. If you’re stuck for ideas, think about a carnival or circus. Students can come up with acts or exhibitions that tie into an important learning topic or period of history.

Natural art

It’s common for art teachers to take their students outside to find inspiration for their works, but what if you could find the work itself as well? Challenge students to come up with art projects that use things from nature as materials. Leaves and rocks are an obvious choice but consider having students make their own clay for pottery or conduct rubbings of things they find.

Cultural day

Many cultures throughout history have had a reliant, even religious connection with the great outdoors, such as many Native American tribes and the cultural groups trying to stay off the grid. Have students research what these groups did for food, work, and entertainment in their time and then recreate that experience. Invite other classes and your administrators for an audience.

Set up a garden

Gardens are popular in schools, especially those in “food deserts” where fresh fruits and vegetables can be scarce. Some schools even use the vegetables they grow in the cafeteria. Your garden doesn’t have to start at that scale. But if you build now, future students can help it grow. If you pick your plants correctly, next year’s students could have something to harvest come fall.

Sidewalk chalk

Even high school students love an opportunity to just doodle with sidewalk chalk and let their creativity flow. If you can find a large enough slab of concrete, you can even make a sidewalk art gallery and host an art walk (before it rains).

Class mural

Murals are a big deal! In some cities, walking tours have sprung up to take tourists around to the best murals and street art. Although it takes investment and a lot of faith from your principal, nothing will connect your students to their school like being able to make part of a wall their own. Word for the wise: you’re more likely to gain approval with an actual design plan or at least a theme. Ask the PTO for a beautification grant and you’re on your way!

The end of the school year is now closer than ever. Treat yourself to a reward by entering our Teacher Appreciation Giveaway, where one lucky educator will win a $500 gift card to Target!

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