Moriah recently reminded me that her, Sam, and Shanelle did their SLA wiki project on learning language outdoors, so I was excited to head over to their page and see what they had found!
I read a lot of great information about the benefits of learning outdoors, but what stood out to me as an educator who is passionate about Kindergarten and early primary classes was the rise in students going into the school system who have speech and language problems and cannot communicate at a level that is expected. I have witnessed this first hand with many of my previous students, but I never attributed it to the indoor lifestyle that is so common these days.
Some great practical ideas that I read from these ladies include reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and having students try and build a house for the three bears out of things found in the forest, as well as listening walks. Where students are taken outside to listen and identify to different sounds. Students could be asked to identify the beginning sound in the sound they hear. Another great idea I read about was a letter treasure hunt, where large letters on paper are arranged around an outdoor areas and students are asked to find a letter, where there will be a clue to find the next letter. Students could be asked to sound out the letter they are looking for to practice letter and sound recognition. The letter could also be placed on an object that begins with the same letter.