Outdoor Classrooms and Nature Trails

What are outdoor classrooms and nature trails?

Outdoor classrooms provide an area where classes can meet to work on academic lessons. Nature trails provide paths where students can walk through and explore and engage with a natural area. Both are places where the entire school community can explore and engage with nature.

Not all students learn the in the same way; for example, kinesthetic and visual learners can thrive in outdoor classrooms and on nature trails where their senses are highly engaged to support their learning style.

Outdoor classrooms can be created in a variety of ways from a chalkboard with benches, to a garden with spaces for seating. They can serve as an extension of the indoor classroom for core curriculum or a place for studying nature-based topics. Some examples include:

  • A reading class can have silent sustained reading in a garden or outdoor classroom space

  • A change of venue for a lecture and note taking

  • Plant and tree identification