Vernier Science Education - June 2024


Forums / Earth and Space Science / Lessons outside the classroom

Earth and Space Science

Lessons outside the classroom

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San Juana De La Cruz San Juana De La Cuz 730 Points

What are some great lessons that the students can learn with the enviroment outside of the classroom. 

Makayla Schluter Makayla Schluter 515 Points


I think this is a great question to bring up especially during the time we are in. For some students still learning remote, teachers can create learning opportunities for students to get outside and learn more about what lives and grows right within their neighborhood or yard. [I must note here that I am from a very rural community in the Midwest, therefore the context with which I view this question may be different from someone who lives in a more urban environment.]

I think getting students involved with inquiry-based learning experiences outside the immediate classroom setting is so important. In the kindergarten classroom, I recently observed, the teacher completed a lesson on exploration in science and she gave each student a magnifying glass and led them outside to the front of the schoolyard. The students were absolutely thrilled to simply be outside and look at bugs, bark, grass, and even dirt up close with their magnifying glasses. This was so simple, yet I know students will remember this experience because it was hands-on, interactive, and in an authentic setting. 

I think any time students can actively engage with their immediate environment, they increase the opportunity to build deeper meaning and retention of content being presented. In our education courses, we talk a lot about creating authentic learning environments and opportunities for the application of knowledge. By taking students out into their environment beyond the classroom you are better able to create these experiences. You are helping build students' worldview through inquiry and exploration, two very important components of STEAM education, and the NGSS standards. 

Thank you for sharing your question and generating this discussion! 


3rd Year Elementary Education Major


Michelle Phillips Michelle Phillips 7005 Points

Hi San Juana  - thank you for asking the question. I wonder if you have seen the Daily Do section of the NSTA website. Here is the link:

Ryan Dalton Ryan Dalton 310 Points

Hello San Juana, one resource that I think would be especially helpful is INaturalist. INaturalist is an app and website that is basically an online field guide where you can take a picture of almost anything and it will determine what species it may be. I use this often for my own leisure but also in some ecology classes I have taken in college. The best thing about it is that it's free! On the INaturalist website, they also provide a whole section of activities and lessons that are used around the globe. here's the link:'s+guide  

Greg Tomlinson Greg Tomlinson 540 Points

Depending on what Stndard you are trying to cover they can go outside and do different observations with weather change, phases of the moon keeping a chart of the moon, collecting different rocks, explore different different types of water features. There is a lot of possibility for what can be done at home in the enviornment.

Zachary Kirby Zachary Kirby 355 Points

There are a ton of online interactive exxperiments as well. If you're students have access to gizmos, PHET, ETC.. Those are great starts. Another great resource in Mystery Boxx Science. This is more of a breakout activity page for students to explore. Hope this helps!


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