These activities take advantage of great weather in any season, but are especially useful for end-of-year lessons. After exams are taken and students begin to get restless, it may be just what you need to get outside in the sun and do some of that active learning that's beneficial for the brain.
Try these on for size:
- *BUILD AND FLY KITES*
This is a really awesome activity shown in detail on Mr. Salsich's classroom blog. He has two videos describing the kite-making activity. You can really see all the time and effort placed into this project, which encouraged kids to use their math skills to design, test and perfect their kites.
In the first video, you can see them working together on the kites. In the second, you can see all their hard work pay off in their fun kite-flying session. They had a ball and applied their math skills. Love it!
- *DESIGN BUBBLE PRINTS*
This cool craft activity can be done inside, but playing with bubbles and paint could be a great opportunity to take kids outdoors. The video shows how simple the process is, and recommends using the finished products for things like book designs. The colorful prints would make nice book covers for some of the students' creative writing, which could also be done outside.
- *CREATE SOLAR OVENS*
This is an activity I found on Scholastic's Classroom Solutions Blog. Stacey's class used pizza boxes to construct solar ovens and cook s'mores. A lesson on solar energy and a tasty treat! Her blog contains some information about her activity, as well as links she used.
Another Scholastic link gives Beth Newingham's ideas for going green at school and references a similar activity with solar ovens. She used a great resource at FamilyFun for Solar S'mores.
- *SCHOLASTIC'S SUN ACTIVITIES*
Speaking of the sun, Scholastic also has a great list of activities to do outside using the sun's energy. They suggest taking a "solar stroll," complete with a reproducible, making a shadow play, using solar kilns, and more.
- *IDENTIFY LINES, ANGLES AND GEOMETRIC FIGURES AROUND THE SCHOOL*
Ms. Jessica White's classroom blog has a great video that shows her class embarking on a journey around campus during a math lesson. Check out some of the places where they found parallel and perpendicular lines, plus a lot more!
- *CREATE NATURE COLLAGES*
Have the class walk around outside to collect some of nature to add to an Alphabet Collage. This blogger added beans, couscous and a few other items to her kids' leaves, pebbles, flowers and other findings so that they could create letters of the alphabet. You can also turn this artistic activity into poetry practice by making the letters smaller so that students can make acrostic poems.
- *ORGANIZE ACTIVITIES WITHIN A CAMPING THEME*
This idea comes from Victoria's Scholastic Blog. She came up with a camping-themed event at her school where students could go outside and participate in several math and science activities. Check out her blog and see pics and explanations of the event, where kids did fun things that helped them practice measurement.
- *PLAN A VOCABULARY PARADE*
Another great idea from Scholastic classroom blogs: Angela Bunyi wanted her class to demonstrate their understanding of vocabulary words by creating costumes representations. Next, they went outside and held a parade to show off their cool creations. Visit her blog to see pictures of the event. She planned this parade in lieu of a Halloween activity, but dressing up for vocabulary would be a neat activity any time of year.
Angela adapted this activity from Debra Frasier's books and ideas. Visit her site for more ideas on how to plan a vocabulary parade.
- *READ OR WRITE OUTSIDE*
Keep it simple and take your students outside to read, write prose or poetry, or observe nature and the action outside.
- *TRACE AND MEASURE SHADOWS*
Here is a activity that gives students a chance to explore the relationship between the sun and shadows. Try this as a guide to the activity.
In fact, using sidewalk chalk and concrete is a good basis for many outdoors activities. You can design a lot of review games based around hopscotch or drawing with sidewalk chalk.
Creating a sun dial may also be a good way to examine the sun and shadows.
- *MAKE A VOLCANO ERUPT*
That's just what Mitch Squires' class did on a nice day for a science lesson. They went outside and used their play dough and plastic bottle creations to simulate volcanic eruptions. Watch the video and go to his blog for details.
- *CREATE A GAME, OR DEVISE A TREASURE HUNT*
These activities are listed on Scholastic and even include printables. Students will love coming up with their own outdoor games and creating all the rules, or going on a treasure hunt as a fun challenge.
I hope you're enjoying the glorious weather! Use it as an opportunity to teach and enjoy learning!