3 Key Questions to Ask Before Starting an Outdoor Classroom

Posted by on Mar 15, 2018 in The Seedling BLOG | 0 comments

3 Key Questions to Ask Before Starting an Outdoor Classroom

Are you the teacher in your school that has added the bird feeders to the trees outside your window, created interesting outdoor learning stations, and brought children’s attention to the wonders of nature? Is this a solo experience for you? Do you wonder how to get the rest of your school on board? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are in the right place. There’s a lot to think about before starting and creating an outdoor classroom.

Why Outdoors? 

This question is critical, as it inspires you and your school’s purpose for teaching outdoors. A few examples include:

  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Offers children opportunities for creative problem solving
  • Research says when children reconnect with Nature they are calmer, more centered, and learn more
  • Outdoor physical exercise is healthy
  • Exposure to Vitamin D is always a bonus!

This simple question opens the doors to cooperation, trust, and change. Want to learn more about the power of Why? Check out Simon Sinek’s TedTalk called How Great Leaders Inspire Action. 

Why Outdoor Classrooms?

This question is important, as it brings clarity to your purpose. A few examples include:

  • Offers student opportunities for hands-on learning
  • Multi-disciplinary options for teaching
  • Uses experimental methods for teaching and learning
  • Celebrates different learning styles
  • Offers opportunities to freely talk and listen

What Type of Outdoor Classroom?

Outdoor Classrooms come in all shapes and sizes. I believe there are 4 Types of Gardens with specific outdoor elements that can be mixed and matched with each other. The 4 Types of Gardens include:

  • Gardens that Feed
  • Gardens that Inspire Themes
  • Gardens for Art and Beauty
  • Gardens that Attract Wildlife

Who is Your Garden Team?

It takes a village to create an outdoor classroom. Who in your community would like to oversee this new space? Some possibilities include:

  • Teachers
  • Parents
  • Students
  • Administrators
  • Seniors in the community
  • College Students

Now I want to hear from you. Do you have any key questions you want to ask about starting your own Outdoor Classroom? If so, write your questions in the comments below and I will be happy to answer them as best I can.

Want to dig a little deeper? Come join us in the NEW Let’s Grow Literacy Outdoors e-Course.

or the Teaching in the Dirt: Designing Outdoor Classrooms e-Course.

Happy Gardening,








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