Teaching Skills: doing the activity

Tools for Teaching Navigation

Tools for Teaching: Introduction

Facilitation Skills: TheĀ art of group facilitation

Teaching and Presentation Skills: Keep these techniques in mind

Tips for Programs: Practical examples and resources

Teach Outdoors

Doing the Activity or Program

  • Be Flexible! Being able to catch the teachable moment or modify your plans is as important outdoors as indoors.
  • Introduce your activity and instructions appropriately and carefully. Choose the best spot. (You may be able to hold learners’ attention better indoors).
  • If the group is in a new location, allow them time to explore the area before beginning. This will help ensure that the learners are focused.
  • Remind learners that if they cannot see you, they have wandered too far.
  • When addressing the whole group outside, have them seated comfortably (e.g., dry, looking away from the sun, not too hot/cold) and assure that everyone can hear (e.g., speak loudly, reduce the distance between the leader’s mouth the learners’ ears, repeat questions and comments from learners, speak with the wind to your back to push the sound forward).
  • Respond to and encourage learner enthusiasm and curiosity. Share your own excitement whenever possible. Enjoy the outdoors with the learners!
  • Whenever possible, model what the learners will do (e.g., procedure) and participate along with the learners (e.g., write in a journal, make observations).
  • Understand that collecting plants or animals should only be done if necessary to observe over long periods of time.
  • Model that organisms are best observed in their natural environment without interference from observers.
  • Have a “quiet down” or reflective activity before returning inside.


Adapted with permission from Soil and Water Conservation District Outreach: A Handbook for Program Development, Implementation and Evaluation. Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Soil and Water Conservation, 2003.