Workshops 2018-05-17T11:24:17+00:00

Learning by Nature Workshops

We know that a teacher’s time and resources are often limited and their days are filled with a plethora of demands. A focus on nature and place isn’t about adding fluff or another commitment to an already overloaded curriculum. In fact, the framework of nature and place advances educational objectives by making all subjects more engaging, relevant, solutions-oriented, and sustainable. And did we also mention- that those least engaged in the classroom are often the most engaged in an outdoor learning environment!

Learning by Nature workshops encourage participants to reflect on the many standards-based lessons and units they already teach and empower educators to apply these and extensions to these lessons, into a new engaging outdoor learning environment. Our workshops and landscape designs create engaging, safe and standards-based learning opportunities on and around the school grounds while meeting the needs and interests of teachers, administrators, and of course—the students!

We understand that taking children into the outdoors is not something that is initially comfortable for everyone. Not to worry, each workshop begins with some simple activities and tips for how to set yourself and your class up for a successful, safe outdoor learning experience. We also understand that not every space is created equally. Rest assured, Learning By Nature will help you identify  and even create engaging learning landscapes right out your door. We also discuss how to integrate community expertise and resources to help further enrich the student learning experience.

A framework of nature and place advances educational objectives.

Orion Playing, Learning by Nature
Participatory Design Workshop
By inviting the users and administrators of a site to co-design an ideal play or learning space, you create effective and sustainable ownership, pride and understanding.  Learning By Nature’s co-creative process: working in small groups, you will develop an understanding of basic design principles; discuss features and structures appropriate for your intended audience, site, and purpose; and playfully use materials to create a model which demonstrates your ideal outdoor space.
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Orion Playing, Learning by Nature
Exploring Standards Outside the ‘Walls’ of Learning

Learning By Nature works with teams of teachers to transform their existing lessons and units into lively year-round standards-based outdoor learning experiences. Topics such as habitat, senses, living organisms, biodiversity, ecology, seasons, life cycles, local natural history and lore, food and nutrition, and Native American studies are easily demonstrated by using outdoor schoolyard and/or community spaces. Each participant or team will create a personalized teaching strategy, lessons and timeline to help implement your new ideas into everyday teaching both in and out of the classroom. (5hr)

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Orion Playing, Learning by Nature
Outdoor Learning 101 … Wake Up the Senses and Learn!
If current research supports the many psychological, cognitive, and physical benefits of the outdoors in childhood development, then why don’t more of us do this with our students? Children’s full physical involvement in learning- touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing – is vitally important and downright fun! Enliven your teaching and maximize learning with lessons that involve all the senses and seasons. Join Learning By Nature to learn how you can set yourself and your students up for success while using the great outdoors as your classroom. (2hr)
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Orion Playing, Learning by Nature
Creating an Edible School Yard (for Students)
Edible school yards can offer a plethora of learning across the curriculum. Research also demonstrates that children learn best when multiple senses are engaged and challenged. With an eye to your specific needs, interest, climate and campus- you will learn how to choose, design a space for, and use edibles to enhance science, social studies, language arts, math and nutrition for grades k-5 and 6-8.  (4 hours)
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Orion Playing, Learning by Nature
Creating an Edible School Yard (for Wildlife)

From pollinators to herbivores, learn how to choose, design a space for, and use plants and water to create wildlife habitat and a living learning landscape to enhance science, social studies, language arts, math, nutrition, and Indian Education for All for grades k-5 and 6-12. (4 hours)

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