Riding a bike, going to the playground and field trips; these are some activities that children enjoy doing. What do these activities have in common? Being able to move around freely while exploring their capabilities. A majority of children prefer not to stay indoors as they are ‘boring’. But learning! And structure! How do we bring lessons outdoors and make sure that children listen to instructions? As teachers or parents, how do we ensure children focus on the task at hand?
Here are some tips from Astor International School:
Ensure that explicit instructions are given before heading out. This can include staying within a certain boundary for safety and the task that they need to accomplish.
Have extra tasks for the early finishers. Children would want to explore, run and play once they tick the task off their list. If you need them to be occupied instead of ‘checking the box’ when they complete the task, give them extra fun tasks to work on!
Here is an example of how we take learning outdoors at Astor:
The students were working on measurement and had to find a stick that is the same length as their palms. They were told that they could find a longer stick and approach the teacher to help with cutting the stick. However, the students had to decide how much of the stick they wanted to cut. The task isn’t as simple as it seems to be! The students tend to curl their hands up while measuring and after cutting the stick, it usually comes out shorter than they had expected. The students noticed the pattern and realised that they had to be mindful not to curl their hands. They also found out the limits of the pair of scissors! Their teacher was not able to cut a stick that was thick. Hence, they looked for sticks that met the two criteria - long and thin.