Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and Odd Dot are introducing Outdoor School, an immersive, eight title series from some of the most-recognized names in the outdoor community, encouraging kids to put away their screens and head outside. From rural to urban communities and from outdoor enthusiasts to cautious new adventurers, there is something for everyone! Click through to explore these books!
We asked teachers how they were using this series outside of their classrooms. Hear what they have to say:
From our Outdoor School Influencer Team, Stage I Teacher Amber Webb:
“We have been loving these books so much! We have used EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM! The kids can’t put them down and fight over who gets to use which book each day.”
From our Outdoor School Influencer Team, Fourth Grade Teacher Erin Buhr:
“Part guide book, part journal, part activity book, the Outdoor School collection of guidebooks are perfect for kids who love nature. We can’t wait to increase the amount of time we spend outside.”
From Amber Webb: Stage I Teacher, The Roeper School
I am currently running a nature focused preschool program in Michigan where we attempt to spend most of our day outdoors. We have Fire Friday’s where we chop wood, find kindling, and build and light a fire before we cook over it. First we boil water to purify, then we make smores, purple dead nettle tea, or cook hot dogs. We used the Survival Skills book to help us figure out what kind of fire to make based on what we had available.
These books have proved invaluable to our program.
From Erin Buhr: Home School Teacher; San Diego, CA
Geology in Our Fourth Grade Homeschool:
We are two weeks into our Geology unit and have barely scratched the surface. Last week was all about volcanoes, which was good explosive fun, but this week we started to look more closely at our rock & mineral collection. My goal was for my fourth graders to start to look closely and observe some of the differences between the different types of minerals.
The Outdoor School: Rocks, Fossils & Shells Guide was our basis for looking closely at our mineral collections. We used geode kits to break open some geodes which was great fun. Although it was a kit, not geodes found in nature, we used the Geode flowchart to look at the outside of the geode before they started hammering away.
The next day, I asked each of my kids to pick two geodes or minerals to start with so we wouldn’t be too overwhelmed. We read Chapter 2 in The Rocks & Fossil Guide about Investigating Your Rock & Mineral Collection. It has excellent questions to use while inspecting your rocks that helped us to slow down, look closely at our rocks, and think about the differences. We also used the Minerals Identification pages to help us identify what we had as well. Once we did our best to figure out which types of minerals we had, I invited my kids to draw their geodes and label them with the type they had identified before returning them to their collections.
The guide book and their rock collections were available all week for them to work on identifying more of their collection on their own. Next week, we’re going to go on a Rock Hunt and move on to learning the differences between igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic.