For Literacy Day here are 10 reasons to teach literacy outside.
The Covid crisis has shown an increase in 60% of our population’s appreciation of the natural world. Yet still so many of our children have not had access to nature during these months or as part of their educational experience.
We decided the greatest impact we could have was to train people to practice themselves. Whilst there is a lot of focus on early years and literacy, the value of reading, writing, talking and listening outside for children and young people of all ages is significant.
Please see our Blog below from Juliet Robertson – 10 reasons to teach Literacy outside:
1. It makes the learning and teaching of spelling and grammar fun, relevant and interesting.
2. Children enjoy making miniature worlds which then become the scene for a story. They can sculpt and shape their imaginative thoughts. This helps them understand about creating a setting with words.
3. The world around us provides inspiration for writing poems. The results are consistently of a better quality than poetry written in the classroom.
4. As we move from place to place, our thoughts, feelings and actions change. This helps us understand that this happens to characters in a story too. We can make our character descriptions more authentic.
5. There is nothing like reading a ghost book or horror story in a creepy place. Or making up your own. The setting doubles the atmosphere created.
6. When we play games we can write down instructions about how to play them. Our knowledge of being outside can be used to write advice to others about how to avoid being stung by a wasp or what to do if a nettle stings you. Functional writing has additional purpose and relevance.
7. Real life experiences help us develop our vocabulary and comprehension. For example, some children find vocabulary introduced in a book confusing. He or she may not necessarily understand that a river, lake, stream and pond are all bodies of water. Sometimes concepts that are read about in a book do not make sense until they are seen, felt or experienced for real.
8. We’re not reading at our desks. Hardly anyone reads at a desk unless they are at school or in an office. Reading for pleasure should be at leisure.
9. The art of naming, describing and knowing about the world around us matters. You can learn the umpteen descriptions to describe the stem of a plant. But without observing these, it is much harder to memorise or to truly know and understand.
10. Children engage with their learning outside and this has a knock-on effect back in the classroom too, according to a recent study.
Lighting the Literacy Fire – CPD on 21st October 2020
Come and spend a busy, happy day with Juliet Robertson, exploring literacy outside.
- Explore the practicalities of developing any outdoor space as a literacy-rich environment on a shoestring budget using natural materials and sustainable approaches.
- Look at approaches to ensuring your children become prolific mark makers outside using a range of creative approaches and through careful attention to their physical development.
- Consider the joy of facilitating many contexts for listening and talking.
- Ensure that a range of texts and narratives are an everyday part of your outdoor practice.
This course is suitable for those who work with children in EYFS or are hoping to do so.
The courses are backed up by oodles of resources on a password protected blog post and the many blog posts that are readily accessible on the Creative STAR website.
Messy Maths – CPD on 20th October 2020
Juliet will also be running Messy Maths CPD on 20th October 2020 – An Outdoor, Playful Approach for Early Years.
Webinars with Juliet Robertson and Circle of Life Rediscovery
Juliet is an educational consultant specialising in Outdoor Learning and Play. Join us for ‘live’, interactive webinars this Autumn. If you can’t make it, just register and we will send you all the recordings and access to many current and useful resources to view on your own time.
With increased interest in the use of outdoor spaces for teaching and learning, these webinars ‘More Messy Maths’ and ‘Mud, Mess & Magic’ will equip you to develop your confidence and meet curriculum needs whilst teaching outside.
About Juliet Robertson
Juliet is an educational consultant who specialises in outdoor learning and play. Previously, she was the head teacher of three schools ranging in size from 6 to 277 pupils. Juliet is based in Scotland and has worked at a national level since 2008 writing case studies, documents and doing behind the scenes work to help shape strategy and support for schools and early years establishments.
This includes heading up the team that wrote the Education Scotland document, Outdoor Learning: A Practical Guide for Scottish Teachers and Practitioners(2011), co-authoring Loose Parts Play – A Toolkit (2016 & 2019) and being part of the Scottish Government strategy group that created A Play Strategy for Scotland (2013). Most recently, Juliet contributed to Out to Play (2018), a Scottish early years document supporting practitioners to develop off-site provision in local greenspace. Find out more.
About Circle of Life Rediscovery
Circle of Life Rediscovery provides exciting and highly beneficial nature-centred learning and therapeutic experiences for young people, adults, and families in Sussex woodlands, along with innovative continuing professional development for the health, well being and teaching professionals who are supporting them