The National Outdoor Learning Library
ALSI is a Living Schoolyard Community Affiliate of Green Schoolyards America. We are working to create living schoolyards that align with the mission of Green Schoolyards America.
Green Schoolyards America is a founding partner of the National Outdoor Learning Initiative whose free library of ideas and resources are designed to support you in using the outdoors for learning during the pandemic and beyond.
The extensive National Outdoor Learning Library includes more than 150 resources written by hundreds of subject matter experts from around the country, from many different fields, who volunteered thousands of hours in 2020-2021 to create guidance for education stakeholders as they consider options for safely returning students to in-person schooling.
On this page we’ve chosen six key resources you might need to help you get started with outdoor learning.
Here are some highlights:
A Start-up Toolkit for schools planning for outdoor learning, lunch, and other programs during the pandemic. This toolkit includes guidance on assessing your campus, a template for diagraming your plan, and links to resources you’ll need.
This collection of three articles includes considerations for helping everyone stay equally warm and dry when learning outdoors in all types of weather. There are tips on clothing, shelter, mindset, and outdoor teaching strategies when it is hot or cold or wet.
Creating Outdoor Spaces
This link connects to a whole chapter on this topic. There is guidance, tools, and hundreds of topic specific resources on planning and selecting outdoor infrastructure, child-friendly plants, and addressing outdoor challenges like noise, allergies, and insects.
Specific tips and strategies for planning outdoor lunch including serving, packaging, seating, and managing waste. There is even a case study from Spring 2020 about outdoor meals in Arlington schools.
This chapter includes curriculum ideas and tools from experienced science and outdoor educators, advice on scheduling shared outdoor spaces, managing groups, and tips for helping kids enjoy learning outside.
Clear and reliable health guidance and research links related to outdoor learning during the pandemic as well as research-based information on the overall benefits of time outdoors to children’s mental and physical health.