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OUTDOOR EDUCATION ACTIVITIES FOR K-12 EDUCATORS

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OUTDOOR EDUCATION ACTIVITIES FOR K-12 EDUCATORS By Gerald L. Piche, Jr Acknowledgements I would like to thank Dr. Randy Showerman for all of his help and friendship since I began my career as an Agriscience teacher. I would also like to thank all of the support staff in the ANRECS department for their help and advice throughout the years. Aspecial thanks to my family and to the friends I have made while attending MSU. Finally, I would like to thank my fiancée Nicole who has supported me with this endeavor. Your cheerful attitude and understanding made all the difference. ABSTRACT Agriscience education has always tried to make connections between what is being taught in the classroom and what students will encounter when they leave the classroom setting. It has been argued that students who are able to put into practice the materials presented to them will have a better understanding of the subject, retain more ofthe information and will therefore get more out of the experience. Parents, administrators and the community on a whole who are aware of this idea have begun to expect this type of teaching method from all educators. This curriculum will serve as a guide to teachers of all subjects in grades K-12 to help them expand their classrooms beyond the four walls of the school and offer ideas to use the outdoors in teaching to their students.Chapter IV: ProjectPROJECT BACKGROUND The purpose of this project is give educators activities that they can use in the outdoors to supplement their classroom instruction. It will focus specifically on activities to be used by K-12 educators. These activities will use natural resources as a medium to teach a variety of subject matter. Educators can use the activities as they are or modify them as they see needed. The methodology used in this project will be to present activities that can be used for studying many different subjects, and not one specific subject. Subjects that have beenincluded in this project are math, science, art, english, social studies, and geography. These activities will be highly adaptable for any teacher. All classrooms vary significantly due to subject matter, learning styles, maturity levels, learning disabilities and many other factors. Due to these variances it will be valuable to have activities that may be altered for use in many different ways. The lesson that the activity is demonstrating should remain the same regardless of the group. The method chosen for this project is activities that can be used by teachers in the following groups: K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. This was chosen because the Michigan Agriscience and Natural Resources Curriculum is set up with these groupings under its Career Pathways.Outdoor Activities for K-12 The following activities are primarily designed for the use with students who are in kindergarten through twelfth grades. These activities are written in an easy to read format and follow this basic form.1. Activity Name2. Objectives: desired outcomes for the students 3. Materials needed: lists all things needed before starting4. Instruction: step-by-step description of what is to be done5. Questions for Study: questions to pose to students at the end of the activity to make them reflect on what they have just completed. There are five activities for each of the groupings previously listed except for the 9-12 grouping. For the 9-12 group, there are 5 activities specific to each of the following subject areas: social studies, math, science, art, and language. The activities for K-2, 3-5, and 6-8 are not grouped by subject area, but have an intended area that is listed by the activity name.Activities for StudentsIn Grades K - 2nd Tree Leaf I.D. ……………………………………………………………………..……………………..39Tree Tag ……………………………………………………………………………..……………..41Wind Trackers …………………………………………………………………………………..………..42Quest for Camouflage ……………………………………………………………………………………………44Pondering Puddles …………………………………………………………………………………................46K-2nd GradesActivity name: Tree Leaf I.D. Objectives: To learn about trees by collecting and identifying their leaves.Materials needed: paper bags (sack lunch size)posterboardpencilsgluePrior to activity: Collect several leaves from the area that you are going to bring the students in to. Photocopy the leaves and make a poster using the pictures (don't forget to label them) so that students will be able to match leaves they collect to help them identify the trees they came from. Instructions: - Have students collect leaves in paper bags while hiking outdoors. Stress that they are to pick the leaves off the ground, not off the trees.- Back in the classroom, students are to match the leaves with the photocopied leaves to identify the trees they came from.- Have students make their own leaf collection poster, complete with names, using the glue and posterboard.Questions for Study:- What materials do we get from trees?- What are other parts of trees?- How many different types of leaves were found? (Leads into discussion of trees that loose leaves and those that don't). (Designed by Jerry Piche, modified from Rebecca Olien's Tree to Tree)K-2nd GradesActivity name: Tree TagObjectives: Reinforce student's knowledge of local tree identification.Materials needed: NonePrior to activity: Make sure student's know the difference between the different types of trees in the"tag" area and can identify them by sight.Instructions: The player who is "It" calls out a kind of tree and it is the safe tree, such as maple.Students touching maple trees cannot get tagged. However, "It" can change the kind of safe tree three times. If another kind of tree is called, the maple is no longer safe. Anyone who is tagged becomes "It's" helper. The last one caught becomes the next "It".Questions for Study:- How can you tell different trees apart?- What are some similarities between all trees? (Designed by Jerry Piche, modified from Rebecca Olien's Tree Tag)K-2nd GradesActivity name: Wind


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