The learnings become engaging and spontaneous outside the classrooms. The field experiences are the means of curriculum extension in its best way.
Let us understand the ways of extended learning outside the classroom.
Neil, Professor, Applied Psychology defines outdoor education as “An emphasis on direct experience of the outdoors for personal, social, educational, therapeutic, and environmental goals”.
The learning activities involve education on the environment, conservation, recreation, social service, camping, and more. It is the experimental method of learning necessary to meet the psychosocial and environmental objectives of the student.
The main objectives of outdoor learning activities for high school students envelope enhancement of physical skills and knowledge, aptitude skills, personal and social development, create environmental awareness, health, fitness, etc.
This mixed teaching methodology kindles academic rigor and promotes facilitated reflection of the academic content in natural conditions.
Let us have a run through on some of the extended learning activities for high school students.
Outdoor Learning Activities for Students:
A Visit to Historical Places:
Historical visit helps the children to explore new things, understand what they have read in the text, understand the glory of the rulers, identify the culture, see the people and the culture in real situations.
A visit to the historical museum helps the students to gain informal educational benefits. It helps the students to develop a deeper understanding of the people, places, and its contribution in shaping today’s society.
A Visit to Botanical Gardens/Trekking:
The high school students study a lot about plants. Though some of the plants are common and known to students, there are plants of economic importance that have been least seen by the student population.
For instance, the students may not have seen the coffee plant, rosewood, algae of economic value, and so forth. A visit to a coffee plantation area, forest, or trekking along the forest zone help the students to gain a lot of knowledge about the plants in its natural habitat, collect plant samples for herbarium preparation, and, etc.
A Visit to Zoological Museum:
A visit to the Zoological museum complements students’ classroom learnings. The life-size dinosaur models, deep-sea animals, aquariums with unseen fishes, whales, fossils, and more help the children to curtail their visualization of unseen animals.
A visit to sanctuaries or forests gives them a chance to witness the animals in their natural habitats. The students engage with ‘real life’ science applications, use real objects, actual specimens, equipment, and learn from the museum scientists.
Night Sky Watch:
We have been gazing the sky at night since childhood with wonders and many questions in mind. A guided sky watch gives you a fantastic experience in the outer world. Learning about the astronomical instruments, playing simulation games, attending quizzes, telescope viewing, 3D movies on galaxies, give you a pleasant surprise and learnings of the outer world.
Some of the must visit places includes planetariums, Jantar Mantar, Shahapur Maharashtra, Mandarmani Kolkata, Neil Island Andaman, etc., are some of the best-suggested places for skywatching.
Social Service Activity:
Participating in community service organized through schools provides a way to help others, meet new friends, develop interpersonal skills, gain work experience, and so forth. Incorporating more kindness and service to everyday life is beneficial for students to be the best human resource and contributors to the nation.
A few of the social service activity that could be undertaken by high school students with the guidance of school includes clean up of litter in society, school, park, temple; sending a thank you letters or greetings for service personnel including military, preparing care packages for homeless, yard work and, etc.
Participation in interschool activities and competitions is essential to enhance teamwork, collaboration, social and emotional learning, increase the intrinsic motivation, strengthen academics, facilitate growth mindset, build mental toughness, etc.
A few of the interschool activities include sports and cultural competitions, social service activities, national festival celebrations, participate in iterations, combined learnings, connect with top employers through visits, and, so forth.
In a nutshell, there is much to learn and nurture beyond the classroom premises. Let us brief the advantages of outdoor learning activities for high school students.
Advantages of Outdoor Learning Activities for Students:
Outdoor learning is a kind of higher-order learning that creates a positive impact on long-term memory. Some of the benefits are as mentioned below.
Enthusiasm and Confidence:
The students become more confident and capable as they interact with many students outside the classroom.
Connect with the Natural Environment:
As awareness of the environment increases, the students start appreciating and get connected with Nature.
Enhanced personal, social, and emotional well-being:
The students get an opportunity to develop their self-esteem and thus become more optimistic and resilient.
Sincere and Responsible citizens:
The students gain powerful learning outcomes as they develop a sense of belongingness, feel valued, and make a positive contribution to society.
Develop a Positive Attitude:
The students collaborate and enjoy a lot that they don’t know what they are inculcating as their personality. Still, it lays a robust positive foundation on their attitudinal behavior.
Apart from classroom learning, mobile learning, the outdoor learning activities connect the students with the environment, community, society, and also themselves.
Outdoor learning is nothing but a curriculum for excellence.
Let us know, what outdoor activity you are going to engage in this academic year in the comment section below.