Learning is More Fun Outdoors!
By Rene Stroud, Naturalist
Looking for ways to make your at home curriculum more interesting? Have we got an idea or two for you! Finding new ways to keep my 2nd grader engaged & interested has been a challenge but the great outdoors has some amazing resources (pun intended) that can be added to any school subject.
Try combining science, geometry, & engineering & head outdoors for some fort building! Start by collecting branches & describing their properties & appearance. Sort them into piles & try to figure out the best way to combine these materials into a new structure. Experiment with new ways of constructing your supports & your base, play around with different shapes & materials as you build the biggest & best branch fort ever. Don’t be afraid of frustration & let your student take the lead, allow them to lift & carry items & make sure to allow them to make choices you know won’t succeed. Sometimes we learn more from failure than from success.
As you collect materials to design & construct your fort you can use leading questions to guide the lesson. I used the following
Do you spot a tree (or other structure) we can build off of?
Do you notice any forked branches?
What shape or size of branch do you think would be most helpful?
How big should we make the fort? How tall?