Tips for Teaching Outdoors

  • Fallen tree in a forest

    What Happens to Trees that Fall in the Forest

    In dying, a tree plays an essential role in sustaining life around it. Here are some classroom activities to explore decomposition and how a fallen tree provides for other life in the forest.

  • Illustration of a Family with Kids trying out a project learning tree outdoor activity

    Activities to Do With Children Outdoors

    Spending time outside is one way we can boost our resiliency while quarantining at home to slow the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Bookmark a few of these free PLT family activities to try in your backyard, at a local park or trail, or another nearby safe space outdoors.

  • two-girls-gather-soil-for-planting

    Birds, Bees, Butterflies, and Bats

    Four teachers share their experiences from students’ GreenWorks! projects to help pollinators with native plant gardens, a bee keeping operation, and constructing bat houses.

  • Pinecones - outdoor winter activities for preschoolers

    10 Outdoor Winter Activities for Preschoolers

    The winter environment offers an abundance of learning opportunities for preschoolers, even in cold climates. Here are 10 winter activities that you and your preschoolers can enjoy outdoors.

  • Student Involvement at Lee Academy: Finding Opportunities Out the Window

    PLT supports place-based education. Read how one high school PLT teacher in Maine uses community-based investigations to give students opportunities to make real world decisions, meet community needs, and explore what is happening in their own neighborhoods as the foundation for learning cross-cutting concepts.

  • Photo of the Earth from space

    Earth Day activities to inspire your students and make a difference

    Earth Day is about raising awareness about the importance of protecting our planet and taking action. Use these activities to inspire your students to take action this Earth Day, and every day.

  • Students Blend Art with Science in Community Garden

    Children selected an animal found in their community’s garden to research. They created beautiful mosaics of their chosen animal for a permanent outdoor art exhibit.

  • students-adults-working-to-create-outdoor-classroom

    Tips for Creating an Outdoor Classroom

    As the pandemic has disrupted countless traditional learning environments, many have begun to move classes outdoors. But as Project Learning Tree educators know all-too-well, taking lessons outdoors offers many more benefits than just germ control!

  • Ideas for Young Learners to Explore Sounds Around Their Neighborhood

    Sounds abound in every school yard! This activity encourages PreK-2 learners to explore sounds all around their neighborhood and compare how sounds change from one season to the next.

  • Agent of Change: Accolades for Our PLT State Coordinator

    Ten years ago, my life changed. It happened when I met Pat Maloney, the Project Learning Tree State Coordinator in Maine.

  • Teaching and Learning Ecologically

    Education is my passion, and I am fortunate to enjoy it as a career. As Manager of Education Programs with the Project Learning Tree (PLT) national office in Washington, D.C., I help create PLT’s PreK-12 activities and design professional development programs for educators. For nearly a decade, I have been immersed in the field of environmental education.

  • jamie-k-using-binoculars-forestry

    Exploring Forestry as a Career

    A forester explains what the life of a forester actually entails and how she inspires students to explore jobs that will take them outside.

  • observing-outside-in-winter

    Why Teach Outside in Winter?

    Teaching outside year-round is a rewarding experience for students of all ages. Teachers in Maine share how to make winter outdoor learning safe and fun.

  • high-school-students-measure-circumference-of-tree-in-winter

    Top Ten Tips for Teaching Outside – Middle and High School

    There are lots of reasons to learn outside. If you are thinking about trying out teaching in the outdoors, check out these tips.

  • student-sitting-against-tree-in-snow-writing-poetry

    Top Ten Tips for Teaching Outside – Elementary

    There are lots of reasons to learn outside. If you are thinking about trying out teaching in the outdoors, check out these tips.

  • early-childhood-students-showing-crafts-outside

    Top Ten Tips for Teaching Outside – Early Childhood

    There are lots of reasons to learn outside. If you are thinking about trying out teaching in the outdoors, check out these tips.

  • teacher-holds-log-for-young-boy-to-touch-and-examine

    Why Teach Outside?

    Nature helps children’s development–intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually, and physically. Studies show that teaching outdoors produces student gains in social studies, science, language arts and math.

  • Overcoming Fears About Teaching Outside: One Teacher’s Story

    A 5th grade teacher in rural Minnesota uses a local forest as a teaching resource. He also engages parents and the entire school in environmental learning.