How do you plan an outdoor education activity?

There are certain aspects that need to be considered before moving your lessons outdoors. Based on Williams’ and Wainwright’s (2015, p.2) template for incorporating adventure in the curriculum, aspects such as teachers’ expertise, pupils’ learning experiences, assessment and validation are important to be thought about beforehand. Criteria such as empowering students to control their own learning, take and manage risk as well as monitoring and adapting teaching approaches are vital to entail when planning an outdoor lesson.

Based on our research on outdoor education, inclusion and the provided model by Williams and Wainwright, we have created a template that can be used by teachers around the world to create an Inclusive Outdoor Education Lesson Plan.

Why use the IOELP?

In regard to Gordon, Meyer and Rose’s (2016) theory of Universal Design of Learning, three major networks control and influence our learning: the affective network, the recognition network and the strategic network. The affective network stimulates students’ interest and engagement for learning. Therefore, it is essential to establish a clear purpose for the learning and to make connections to their immediate environment in order to ensure students’ attention and engagement. An initial step is to evaluate all students’ current level, and to scaffold their knowledge to help them develop skills. Recognising students’ methods and content knowledge can help you to provide differentiated challenges for all.

The analysis of students’ needs aligns with the recognition network as well as the strategic network. Both reflect the idea of the embedded learning objective for students in the lesson plan. While the recognition network focuses on what is going to be learned in the lesson, the strategic network concentrates on how students are going to present their findings. The networks consider the variability of learners’ and ensures inclusion of all students, taking into account abilities and difficulties one may have. Implementing various means of representation for students to access information and opportunities for them to express their ideas and respond to the learning are decisive elements to create an inclusive environment (Gordon et al., 2016). Moreover, providing special accommodations or modifications help you to differentiate for students with special needs, especially in an outdoor environment.

Likewise, providing additional resources for all learners to use will foster everyone’s understanding. After creating an overview of the activities, timing and locations and the execution of the lesson, you should reflect on the outcome of your teaching and the learning experiences. This part can be a valuable tool for formative assessment of students’ learning. Reflection can help you to eliminate occurring barriers and improve teaching strategies, based on students’ behaviour and response to the outdoor environment.

Let’s Get Practical!

  1. Link to our lesson ideas.
  2. Learning Through Landscapes lesson ideas.
  3. Outdoor Classroom Day
  4. Yalp  (barrier free playgrounds)
  5. Outdoor homework ideas
  6. Wild About Learning: Outdoor Numeracy and Literacy Activities
  7. Forest Schools in Denmark





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Inclusive Perspectives in Primary Education Copyright © 2021 by room305 and Inclusive Education Class 2020-2021 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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