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Facilitating Workshops with Thematic Prompts

Teach Outdoors believes in the transformative power of nature to ignite curiosity and foster deep learning experiences. Recently, Lauren hosted a workshop aimed at inspiring educators to facilitate outdoor learning adventures centred around discovering stories in nature.

With the help of thematic prompts and innovative tools like menu covers, we embarked on a journey to unlock the narratives hidden in the world around us.

Five Thematic Stations

The workshop featured five thematic stations, each designed to encourage exploration and inquiry:

1. Rainy Day Stories: Participants delved into the mysteries of rain, exploring its impact on the environment, and uncovering the stories it tells through observation and reflection.

2. Mapping Narratives: Teachers investigated the rich stories embedded in maps, from geographical features to historical landmarks, sparking discussions on spatial awareness and cultural significance.

3. The Art of Play: Engaging in outdoor play, educators discovered the stories woven within children’s interactions with nature, highlighting the importance of unstructured exploration and creativity.

4. Emotional Landscapes: Exploring the complex realm of emotions, participants reflected on the stories that emerge from within, fostering empathy and self-awareness in students and educators alike. 

5. Biodiversity Connections: Examining the interconnectedness of all living things, teachers explored the stories of ecosystems and their inhabitants, emphasizing the importance of conservation and environmental stewardship.

Organizing Thematic Prompts To Increase Student Engagement

Central to our workshop were the menu covers, acting as versatile tools for organizing thematic prompts and facilitating student engagement. With sturdy construction and transparent sleeves, they provided a convenient platform for switching worksheets and encouraging hands-on exploration.

Throughout the workshop, educators enthusiastically engaged with the prompts at each station, sparking meaningful discussions and sharing personal connections. Formative assessment charts provided a valuable means of capturing student participation and progress, ensuring that learning outcomes were met while allowing for flexibility and adaptation.

As we gathered for a debriefing circle, it was inspiring to witness the passion and enthusiasm of our participants. Through reflection and dialogue, teachers shared insights, exchanged ideas, and expressed excitement for integrating outdoor learning strategies into their classrooms.

It was truly an honour to collaborate with such dedicated educators, and I look forward to returning in the coming months to continue our journey together. As we reflect on our workshop experience, we are reminded of the boundless potential of outdoor exploration to inspire curiosity, foster connections, and uncover the stories that surround us in nature.

Feel free to download the resources for each station here:

Rainy Day Stories:

Mapping Narratives: 

The Art of Play: 

Emotional Landscapes: 

Biodiversity Connections: 

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