Wild Learning: Practical Ideas to Bring Teaching Outdoors by Rachel Tidd

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Wild Learning answers a call in the educational community for practical, easy-to-implement activities that bring core curriculum out of the classroom and into the outdoors. Outdoor learning has risen in popularity in recent years, and it has tremendous benefits. Being outside is healthier, helps children form a strong connection to the natural world, supports a variety of learning styles, increases engagement and motivation, and improves mental health. This book gives teachers practical activities that they can immediately implement, and helps educators overcome common barriers to outdoor instruction. These activities can be done in common outdoor spaces that are accessible to teachers in all school settings, and they are adaptable to their current curriculum--not an extra thing to try to fit into their day.

  • Get ideas for fun outdoor activities that cover core subject matter already being taught
  • Take learning outside, taking advantage of commonly accessible areas, no matter the educational setting
  • Help students develop a healthy appreciation of the outdoors and support hands-on learning styles
  • Support students' physical and mental health without sacrificing learning time

This book is a much-needed resource for elementary and special education teachers, as well as those in alternative schools, forest schools, and homeschooling parents.


Table of Contents:


Benefits of teaching outdoors 1

Zones of accessibility 4

01 Planning and preparation 13

A place to gather 13

Safety considerations 17

Getting parents on board with outdoor learning 19

Planning classroom outdoor time and classroom management 19

Dressing for the weather: Gear for kids and adults 21

Creating a positive outdoor experience for students and teachers 29

Materials for outdoor learning 30

Final thoughts 33

02 Lessons in the schoolyard 34

The wonders of chalk 34

Learning games for the schoolyard 51

Using natural materials 68

Utilizing the schoolyard 93

Final thoughts 104

03 Visiting the neighborhood 105

Walking adventures 106

Final thoughts 149

04 Exploring farther afield 150

The plants and animals around us 150

Developing a sit spot practice 189

Final thoughts 196

05 Inviting nature indoors 197

A nature-inspired class meeting 197

Cultivating nature appreciation and curiosity throughout the year 204

Final thoughts 217





Jacket Description/Back:


In Wild Learning, veteran educator Rachel Tidd delivers a practical and hands-on collection of activities, projects, and routines that help teachers and homeschooling parents teach core math, reading, and writing skills outdoors. Integrating school grounds, neighborhood environments, local parks, and natural settings into her instructional plans, the author shows you how to achieve significant learning benefits for your students in both rural and heavily urban and developed areas.

You'll explore day-to-day activities that revolve around nature and the outdoors, like writing stories based on cloud formations, collecting bundles of sticks to learn place value, using chalk to play word games on pavement, and writing poems to welcome the new season.

An illuminating and concrete blueprint for enhancing the learning outcomes of your students, Wild Learning will help you enhance the attention, motivation, engagement, and connection of your learners. It's ideal for teachers, school administrators, and parents who homeschool their children, as well as parents who wish to bring nature into the daily life of their child.

"In our work to move more students, classes, and schools outdoors--where we know myriad, invaluable benefits await--Rachel Tidd's Wild Learning provides educators with the how-to guide on nature-based learning and outdoor teaching they have been yearning for. Readers will discover the insight, lessons, and concrete examples for the 'what', 'where', 'when', 'how', and 'why' of teaching with nature in integrated ways!"
--Liza Lowe, Affiliate Faculty, Antioch University New England and Director, Inside-Outside


RACHEL TIDD is the author and creator of the Wild Math(R) and Wild Reading(TM) curricula and is a leading advocate for integrating the outdoors into elementary education. She reimagines instruction using nature and the outdoors as a tool for enhancing academic skills. Her techniques are used by teachers and homeschooling parents around the United States and the world.


Pub Date: April 18, 2023

240 pages