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Outdoor Learning and Nature Connection

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These resources have been created by the Eden Project to inspire and facilitate teachers in taking learning outside the classroom. Their lesson plans all address objectives from the Primary National Curriculum but also allow learners to make all important connections with nature. 

Lesson plan: Minibeast Trackers

What’s more exciting or compelling to children than minibeasts? In this session children use their senses to look, listen and touch their way around their outdoor space - encouraging a sense of curiosity that could lead to adventures and imaginative play.

Key information:

  • 1-hour lesson plan
  • Suitable for years 1, 2 and EYFS
  • Focus on Science

Lesson plan: Nature's Colours

There are some outdoor learning activities that we just love and Nature’s Colours is a particular favourite! This simple outdoor activity for primary school children, sees them collecting coloured items from outside. Try the activity in its purest form, or have a go at some of our extension activities, it is a fantastic way of taking learning outdoors and connecting your pupils with nature.

Key information:

  • 30 minutes + (depending on how you decide to extend the learning)
  • Predominantly EYFS and KS1. However, this activity can be used by pupils across the Primary age range.
  • This session can be adapted to fit nearly all Primary School subjects. However, it has particularly strong links to the Art and Science curriculum. 

Lesson plan: Positive Potions 

This lesson plan gets pupils making ‘magic potions’ from materials found outdoors – builds on literacy skills and is ideal for Valentine's Day or Halloween but can be adapted for any season.

Key information

  • 75-min lesson plan
  • Suitable for years 4, 5 and 6
  • Focus on English and PHSE

Lesson plan: Learning with Leaves 

This lesson plan is ideal for an outdoor-based autumn maths class, as it gets pupils using leaves to measure and calculate. This simple set of activities inspired by the humble leaf reinforces our mantra that outdoor learning is easy, cheap and doesn’t need tonnes of planning.

Key information

  • 1.5-hour lesson plan
  • Suitable for years 3, 4, 5 and 6
  • Focus on Maths

Lesson plan: Den Designers 

In this fun, hands-on activity, children use teamwork, communication skills and lots of creativity and imagination to build mini-shelters from outdoor materials.

Key information

  • 1-hour lesson plan
  • Suitable for years 3 and 4
  • Focus on DT and English

Lesson plan: How drawings could save your life 

A lesson in which KS2 and KS3 pupils learn to observe and draw leaves, developing their artistic skills and exploring simple scientific ideas around human survival. 

Key information

  • 1-2 hour lesson plan
  • Suitable for years 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9
  • Focus on Art and Science

Sequence of lessons: Paradise Pastures- Work Scientifically to Investigate the Incredible Biodiversity Hidden in your School Grounds

This series of lessons uses the Eden Project’s Story-Inspired Learning approach to connect children with the biodiversity in their own school grounds and develop their understanding of the nature and process of scientific enquiry. The sessions begin with a period of exploration where the children touch on a range of inquiry types, skills and areas of science knowledge and understanding, and have a range of science experiences outdoors. These experiences act to spark their curiosity. Students are then encouraged to develop their own scientific question: something which they themselves have become curious about. They are then supported to choose the most suitable enquiry type to investigate their question and complete an investigation before reporting back their findings.

Key information

  • 3 x 1.5-hour lessons
  • Suitable for upper KS2
  • Focus on Scientific Enquiry
  • Opportunity for ‘Writing Across the Curriculum’ & an extended investigation at the end

Topics

Environment and Sustainability

Age Ranges

KS1: ages 5-7, KS2: ages 7-11

Subjects

Art and design, Citizenship, Geography, Maths / numeracy, PSHE / PSE / PSED, Science

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Resource contents

  • Link

    Lesson plan: Minibeast Trackers

  • Link

    Lesson Plan: Nature's Colours

  • Link

    Lesson plan: Positive Potions

  • Link

    Lesson plan: Learning with Leaves

  • Link

    Lesson plan: Den Designers

  • Link

    Lesson plan: How drawings could save your life

  • Link

    Sequence of lessons: Paradise Pastures