Journal ArticleDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.
An outdoor classroom is an exciting way to connect the learning of science to nature and the environment. Many school grounds include gardens, grassy areas, courtyards, and wooded areas. Some even have nearby streams or creeks. These are built-in laboratories for inquiry! In the authors’ third-grade classroom, they align and integrate language-arts process skills with science-process skills through a curriculum based on nature study in their outdoor classroom. This article takes the reader through their basic format in a science unit from skill-based reading about nature to conducting outdoor inquiries to writing about nature learning. They provide three examples of units that they have completed following this model in their outdoor classroom: seeds, butterflies, and stream health.