Teaching outdoors – one day at a time

This article is reposted with permission from Project Learning Tree (PLT).

Nancy Blake, Physical Education Teacher in Wasilla, Alaska

In this world of ever-increasing screens, physical education teacher Nancy Blake says it has been important to get her students outdoors as much as possible.

A teacher in Wasilla, Alaska, where she works with students in grades K-2 at Goose Bay Elementary School, Nancy has access to a very picturesque “backyard”.

“I realized that while we were often outdoors for PE, my emphasis had been focused on the activity, and I pretty much ignored the natural setting in which we were DOING the activity. Over the years, students occasionally asked me about trees, plants, wildlife, etc. Sometimes I could answer, and other times I couldn’t with certainty, she says.

When the opportunity to take a Project Learning Tree professional development class in Denali National Park presented itself, Nancy immediately said yes.

“I thought it could be helpful for me to learn more so I could integrate some environmental science into my lessons.”

After completing the PLT workshop, Nancy began incorporating outdoor education one day a week with her students while continuing to lead a standards-based PE curriculum the rest of the week.

Read Nancy’s full story here.


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