Tools for Teaching Navigation
Tools for Teaching: Introduction
Facilitation Skills: The art of group facilitation
Teaching and Presentation Skills: Keep these techniques in mind
Tips for Programs: Practical examples and resources
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.