“You Have An Outdoor Classroom! How Do You Use It?" 
Inquiry-Based Learning in the Schoolyard


The Outdoor Classroom/Inquiry Based Learning in the Schoolyard was created to provide an opportunity for the students to interact with the environment and make use of an area that was previously underutilized for student learning. The schoolyard or building grounds provide a learning environment outside the classroom that can be used for i nterdisciplinary; standards-based; hands-on; inexpensive; inclusive of all learning styles inquiry based learning.

Imagine a day when your school or facility grounds are bustling with activity:

  • One class watches birds using a nest box they constructed, taking notes on their adaptations for flight and feeding
  • Another class learns about plant reproduction by examining the flower they planted and observing the bees and butterflies pollinating them
  • A group uses math skills to estimate the tadpole population in a pond which students helped construct
  • A fourth group records observations of squirrel behavior as they gather nuts to feed their young
  • An environmental club meets for an afternoon of bird watching and fills the feeders they made
  • An after-school program is making leaf rubbings to create bookmarks

Turning your schoolyard or facility grounds into an outdoor classroom is easier than you think. This site will provide you with ideas for outdoor learning opportunities that are:

  • Interdisciplinary
  • Standards-based
  • Hands-on
  • Inexpensive
  • Inclusive of all learning styles