Written by Discovery Program Project Coordinator Jessica Stillman.
Teachers, did you know you can help your students be more engaged and enthusiastic in all areas of their learning by taking them outside?
Studies show that students who experience nature as part of the educational process score higher on tests in reading, writing, and math and have demonstrated better listening skills.
Not that you need any more reasons to get outside, but here are four more reasons to take your class outside for Take Me Outside Day:
- Spending time in nature is good for you
- Nature is a wonderful teacher – look, listen, and observe
- Nature is a classroom that knows no boundaries – you can teach any subject outside
- Weather is part of the adventure – don’t let it rain on your parade!
What is Take Me Outside Day?
Back for it 13th year, Take Me Outside Day helps raise awareness and advocates for outdoor learning by helping educators and learners feel inspired to head outside and learn beyond the four walls of a classroom.
On Wednesday, October 18, Ontario Parks Discovery staff will be encouraging outdoor exploration, discovery, and learning in parks, schoolyards, and local greenspaces.
Students from Stittsville to Terrace Bay, Temagami to Whitney, Parry Sound to Brighton, and everywhere in between will be taking their learning outside with Discovery staff.
Check out some of the cool programs happening across the province:
Meet the Ranger program at Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park
Students visiting Kakabeka Falls on Take Me Outside Day are going behind the scenes to see what it is like to work in a park.
It takes a variety of staff positions, like gate, store, warden, Discovery, and more to operate a park. When you camp or visit a park you will see these staff in action, but you don’t get to see what happens behind the scenes.
Students will get to experience the action with hands on activities that gives students a sneak peek into a day in the lives of park staff.
Helping Hands — Monarch program with Bronte Creek Provincial Park
Everything around us is connected. Small changes in the environment can play a big role in a species’ survival.
Discovery staff will be visiting students in their schoolyard on TMO Day to help Molly the Monarch navigate becoming a butterfly.
Through games, activities, and making a mess, students will learn how plants, humans, and monarchs can live harmoniously in a city. By helping Molly turn into a butterfly, students become Monarch Ambassadors, ready to help the next generation of monarchs survive.
Beam Paints art program at Killarney Provincial Park
Students participating in TMO Day at Killarney will immerse themselves in nature and reflect on their connection through art.
Participants will be using Beam Paints water colours, manufactured in M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island.
All the paints are handmade in small batches using local Manitoulin honey, wildcrafted tree sap, hand gathered, washed, and sifted Manitoulin stone, and the finest lightfast pigments.
What an incredible way to connect to the land and reflect on your relationship with nature then through art using natural and local materials!
Forest therapy program at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
Kendomang Zhagodenamnon Lodge (KZ lodge) students will be joining Discovery staff along the South Kabeyun Trail for a hike on Take Me Outside Day.
During the hike, students will be encouraged to stop and smell the trees, feel the wind, and touch the earth to connect with the space.
This specialized land-based Alternative Secondary School Program looks to connect students to the local environment through real-world experiential learning activities, so a trip to Sleeping Giant was a great local excursion!
Get outside all year long!
Take Me Outside Day might only be one day a year, but every day in nature is a learning adventure!
Get your students outside or bring nature into your classroom with one of our many school programs. Visit the Discovery School Program page to connect with Discovery staff near you and book a program.
Discovery programs bring learning alive!
Whether it is online with a virtual Species at Risk program or in person on the Giant Floor Map, your students are sure to get excited about the outdoors, developed a deeper connection with nature, and explore their place in the world.
So, are you IN to get OUTside this October 18 and the rest of the school year?
Take Me Outside is a non-profit, charitable organization committed to raising awareness and facilitating action on nature connection and outdoor learning in schools across Turtle Island / North America.