Sunday, May 14, 2017

Outdoor Classroom Day

For two days I have pushed up sweat-slipped eyeglasses with the back of a soil-dark hand. The back of my neck is sunburned, and muscles are so stiff and sore that I will barely be able to get out of bed tomorrow. But the Early Girl and Roma are in the ground, empty cages waiting above them for vines that will branch and climb. Nasturtiums (shouldn't the plural be Nasturia?) and Marigolds guard the Dinosaur Kale and Rainbow Chard, seedlings all. A three-inch promise of Zucchini sits atop a rich, black mound.

Covered in rosebush scratches, I know that I am alive.

I'm told that May 18th is Outdoor Classroom Day. The educators who thought up this annual event probably had K-12 in mind, but I think outdoor time could be good for adult learners, too. What do you think?

Tomorrow is not May 18th, but the seniors' class and I are hopping on the city bus in order to check out the recently donated open-air Ping-pong table in Windsor's Kiwanis Park. This follows a module on free and low-cost things to do in Windsor and another module during which some students taught the rest of us how table tennis is played.

If I remember to take pictures, we can turn these into a Language Experience Approach (LEA) story afterward. I've never used LEA with any group other than literacy. This will be a good way for us to go materials light and will save the day after teacher spent all her lesson planning time holding a pitchfork. I wonder how seniors will like LEA, whether it will prove to be a valuable tool worth using again.

How about you? With the interminable wet and chilly weather finally abating and the sun smiling down, are you thinking of ways to combine an ESL lesson with a bit of fresh air? I would love to hear.


  1. I wish I could. As I am teaching CLB 7, I have a feeling I cannot plan classes outdoors. It's a pity. 😢

  2. Cintia,
    Oh, that is indeed a pity. We have some school-wide outdoor days, as well. One time we picked up litter around two city blocks. The students really loved giving back to the community that has welcomed them. --K