Looking for fun and innovative ways to engage students in the classroom? Check out some of our new curriculum activities that are perfect for an online school environment but still get students outside exploring nature.
Science ~ Grade 3-5
In this outdoor activity, the only materials studens need is a piece of paper, a pencil, and an open mind. Become a backyard ecologist and map the sounds of nature in an outdoor space close to home. After drawing a circle on a piece of paper, learners can close their eyes and listen to the sounds of nature around them. Students then record what they hear as well as how far away something is compared to them and their surroundings. This activity can be done throughout the day to examine what sounds (and the forces that make them) are present at different times.
Older students can take this activity one step further by talking about the impact of noise pollution and how loud human activity can disturb local wildlife.
English ~ Grade 5-8
Writing about nature helps us reconnect with the land around us. Not to mention, it's also good for our mental health! In this activity, do a close reading of an essay by Shalan Joudry, an L’nu poet, storyteller, mother, and ecologist. After you reflect on her words, ask learners to spend ten to fifteen minutes outside in nature relaxing, playing, or thinking. When they return, have a group discussion on why it is so important to spend time in nature for our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.
If you'd like, ask students to write a short poem, essay, or reflection of their time in nature and why they find it so important for their wellbeing.
Science ~ Adaptable for Grade 1-7
Celebrate creativity in this activity all about environmental innovation! In this engineer meets entrepreneur activity, have students design (and build if you're looking for a challenge!) their own nature invention and then try to sell their latest invention to their classmates. Students can invent something inspired by nature or something that will benefit the planet and all its inhabitants.
After the design process is complete, have students present their inventions to their classmates and vote for their favourites.
English ~ Grade Primary
In this activity, students will learn a few new words to help describe some of the things they find in nature. Using an alphabet worksheet, students are asked to write a different word for things they see, smell, touch, feel, and hear on a walk outside in their community, backyard, or at Riverside's Knowledge Path.
After everyone has completed their nature alphabet sheets, ask students to share what they discovered with the rest of the class.
Science ~ Grade 3-5
For educators looking for a more in-depth activity, we've created worksheets, educator resources, and PowerPoint presentations (which you can find with all our other printables here) to accompany this lichen activity! This hands on ecology activity introduces learners to the diverse world of lichen. Students will learn how to classify lichen into three different categories and they will also practice scientific drawing techniques.
We hope these activities have inspired you to explore nature with your students! If you're looking for more activities, you can explore the curriculum section of our website where we have all our activities categorized by grade level.