Teaching Skills: prepare 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

Preparing the Activity or Program

  • If inexperienced, choose a topic or curriculum area that is your greatest strength to use as the basis for designing outdoor activities.
  • Use an activity with a high percentage of success for learners. A variety of answers, diverse opinions, and different perspectives will generate a positive attitude.
  • Select investigations that are short and focused when working with groups that are inexperienced in learning outdoors.
  • If using an unfamiliar location, visit the area and visualize how to do the activity and where specific parts of the experience will occur.
  • When possible, design the experience to include a variety of group sizes (e.g., whole group, small group, pairs, individuals).
  • Use procedures and structures that learners are familiar with (e.g., recording data, grouping, using equipment, enhancing skills, reporting information).
  • Enlist the help of community volunteers, parents, and teachers and/or use older students to work with younger students. In general a 1:10 adult to child ration is recommended. For water quality monitoring, or similar activities, a 1:5 ratio is recommended.
  • Be familiar with the collection laws in the area. Your state’s Department of Natural Resources can provide this information.
  • Plan adequate time including going to and from the outdoor site (even if just outside of the meeting room or school building).
  • Think through every aspect of the experience and take basic precautions to assure the safety and well being of learners. Bring a first aid kit, including a bee sting kit. Have a plan for handling emergencies (e.g., carry a cell phone, have a car available).
  • Have parents sign a permission slip (see examples).

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.