Being part of the BEd program has provided me with a lot of new experiences, although I think being a hedgehog and a polar bear are an absolute first for me! But the lesson on Wednesday was fun and engaging, and we managed to work up a sweat while we were at it. So great job ladies!
I love doing and planning scavenger hunts (I’ve done a few for birthdays & bachelorette parties), but I also think they are an ideal activity for encouraging students to experience the outdoors. There is a healthy dose of competition, and allows for students to practice their thinking, creative and team-working skills, as well as encouraging them to experience new things. In thinking about my own experience growing up, we very rarely experienced outdoor education or alternate environments for either P.E. or regular classes… I only remember one occasion of going outside to a nearby field in the last week of the year as a treat (although this may have something to do with the horrendous Scottish weather!). It was still a time where we spent a lot of time playing outdoors outside of school and I was lucky enough to come from a family who came from more rural communities and who enjoyed this. We would spend every summer up in the islands, playing on tractors and in the moors helping to collect peat.
So it’s scary when just 20 years later, the majority of play occurs indoors. I remember going out for dinner a month or two ago and seeing a family sitting nearby and all three of the kids were straight away sitting on their devices playing games. We are so lucky to be living in British Columbia where there is nearby access to so many varied environments. Yesterday it was a 5-10 minute walk until we were in the middle of a forest. We could have gone 10 minutes in the opposite direction and been at Wreck Beach. So as educators we really need to instill this outdoor mindset from the start. I saw a couple of videos on Youtube of teenage gamers and the impact on their social skills and their understanding of society is clearly evident. I know Steve mentioned this in class previously, but the David Suzuki Foundation has some really great resources and ideas for implementing an outdoor mindset within the classroom, and this is something I will definitely be incorporating if I’m lucky enough to have my own classroom one day. It even has some benefits for teachers too… (http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/science-matters/2014/09/learning-in-nature-is-good-for-teachers-and-students/)