Resources for Grades 3-5 Activity – Get Outside!

Regular and frequent time outdoors is beneficial for emotional, mental, and physical health, as well as for creativity, learning, and child development. In this activity, students will examine the physical and emotional effects of a task done outdoors versus indoors. They will design, plan, and carry out an investigation comparing the two settings, and analyze their results.

For the complete activity and more like this, purchase the Explore Your Environment: K-8 Activity Guide at Shop.PLT.org and/or attend a professional development training in your state.

Below are some supporting resources for this activity.

STUDENT PAGES

Download the copyright-free student pages that are included with this activity:

Measuring Heartrate (PDF)

Mood Meter (PDF)

What's Your Mood? (PDF)

Seeing Without Eyes (PDF)

STEM STRATEGIES

Engage students in real-world applications of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education.

Try these STEM Connections for this PLT activity:

RECOMMENDED READING

Expand your students’ learning and imaginations. Help students meet their reading goals, while building upon concepts learned in this activity, with the following children’s book recommendations:

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

The following tools and resources may be used to enhance the activity.

  • Sounds of Your Park

    Listening to the sounds of nature has been shown to have many health benefits. Listen remotely to sound recordings from officially protected places from around the world. The Sounds of Your Park initiative is a continuously growing collection of sounds intended to celebrate the acoustical beauty and diversity of the world’s national parks and other protected areas.

  • #NatureForAll Trivia Game

    The #NatureForAll Trivia Game tests your knowledge on parks and protected areas from around the world with this fun, interactive quiz. Topics include biodiversity, conservation heroes, current events and geography.

  • Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives

    Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives is an interactive poster to learn about the many physical and mental health benefits trees provide in urban areas. Students can also read about how urban forests can improve our physical and mental health and promote healing.

  • Podcast: Keys to Forest Therapy

    Keys to Forest Therapy.” Trees Are Key, Episode 263. In this 14-minute podcast, a certified nature therapist discusses the connection between trees, nature, and people and explains how being in a natural environment, like a forest, is good for mental and physical well-being. Geared for adults, Trees Are Key is a series of over 300 podcasts by Texas A&M Forest Service. See https://tfsweb.tamu.edu/podcasts/treesarekey/ for the full list.

  • Five Ways to Make the Outdoors More Inclusive

    Discover ways to help make our outdoor spaces, state and national parks more inclusive with these five ideas and action steps from outdoors experts and activists. According to the most recent National Parks Service survey, about more than 70 percent of those who visit or work in federal parks are white. Moreover, the outdoors industry workforce lacks representation from African Americans,  the Latinx community, women, and members of the LGBTQ community, lending to low perceptions and limited access to the outdoors for minority populations. Consider discussing diversity in the outdoors with your middle and high school students and ways to make changes using these five ideas.

  • Find Nearby Trails and Parks

    AllTrails is a free app that helps users discover the outdoors. Use it to find a hiking path suitable for children, to search for local places to bike or fish, or to plan a national park visit.

  • Tips for Taking Students Outside

    Friends of the Prairie Wetlands Learning Center has put together some short, simple, and practical recommendations to help effectively incorporate use of an outdoor classroom. Suggestions include finding an experienced mentor, scheduling a set time for taking students outdoors, and examining learning standards to see what are best taught outside.

  • Into the Outdoors – Forest Ecology

    Into the Outdoors is an Emmy award-winning TV show with an emphasis on science education for middle school-aged students. The show’s new website, intotheoutdoors.org, provides free videos and other resource links on many environmental topics to make outdoor learning exciting and fun. While there are many exciting topics to choose from (such as sustainable forestry, biodiversity, and wetlands), Into the Outdoor’s 4-part video series on Forest Ecology is a perfect fit with many Project Learning Tree activities. These 5-7 minute shorts feature middle school-aged youth that inspire all of us to take learning outdoors!