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I am the producer of PLAY AGAIN, a documentary about the consequences of a childhood removed from nature (www.playagainfilm.com).  We just received a grant for an educational outreach campaign.  We are creating a PLAY AGAIN study guide and we need your input!  One of our goals is to highlight the work of the many fabulous outdoor educators working with our youth.  So please share your favorite class activities and we will add your name and/or the name of your program!  And if you know anyone who has the experience to put this kind of study guide together in full, and the time to do it in the next two months,
please let me know - the job is open.  Thanks for all the amazing work you do!  Meg

 

Details:  The guide will likely have 4 parts and will be focused primarily the impact of screentime (for better and worse) and the importance of nature connection:  1.  Research on why outdoor education is important and how nature assists learning (including research students can access for papers and debates).  2.  Discussion questions and Writing Prompts (from the film and the issues it raises)   3. Class Activities  4.  Additional resources (programs, curriculum ideas, websites etc) 

 

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Replies to This Discussion

For middle and high school I like the use of mesostic poems as these can be used in any subject area to increase knowledge about the school yard and neighbourhood. It also helps children make connections between the subject and the real world.

 

Mesostics
A mesostic is a kind of poem based upon a name. Any letter in the word can be highlighted and when these are read down a word is formed. The mesostic word can be thought of as a stem, and the other letters of the word come of unevenly to the sides as branches. Because of this mesostics are often written about plants.


            BeRries
            DroOping
         DoWn
                          Announcing
   AutumN 

The inspiration and suggestion for using mesostics outside came from Alec Finlay, an artist, poet and publisher based in NE England. He has undertaken an number of projects that involve exploring words outside. His website provides lots of ideas for other explorations that combine place-based art, literacy and design.

 

I do write the education packs you describe, Meg, but I'm booked up with work until mid-November. If you or the writer of the pack wishes to get in touch then I have many more nature-based maths and literacy activities such as simple ways into exploring fractals in nature and mud pie charts. My blog and website will be merged within the next 6 months and should be a place to find these www.creativestarlearning.co.uk  and I'm a teacher, get me OUTSIDE here! 

 

Best wishes

Juliet

 

Learning about artist Andy Goldsworthy and then creating outdoor art installations.

Hi Meg

I really enjoyed watching the trailer to your video.  We (Learning through Landscapes) are also looking a lot at natural play experiences for children at the moment and my colleagues in Scotland have some interesting work running on this at the moment - do visit http://ltl.org.uk/scotland/projects.php on our website to find outa little more.

Does being outside the UK excluded us from being considered to write your study resources? It may be innapropriate but I thought I would ask!  Do you have a budget, idea for the scale of the publication, deadline etc?

In the meantime are there any particular themes, subject areas you would like some ideas for? - I am sure we could send you one or two to help.

Will you be attending the school grounds conference in San Francisco next month? http://greenschoolyards.org/home - if you are it would be a great opportunity to discuss the issues you raise.

With best wishes

Mary

Hi Meg

 

A couple of things that might be helpful from our experience in Scotland- we have some short film clips that demonstrate a number of simple ways of using the outdoors for leanring across a range of curriculum topics - the first 5 or 6 clips here would be particularly relevant:

http://www.youtube.com/schoolgroundsuk#p/c/BFFD479DD9C257BF

 

We are also involved in a project to help schools develop rich natural play opportunities in their recess time - and will have some short films and professional photographs of these available in the next 8 weeks or so.A glimpse of this kind of approach is here

http://www.ltl.org.uk/spaces/casestudy.php?cs=33

 

hope this is helpful.

 

regards

 

Alastair Seaman

Grounds for Learning

www.gflscotland.org

 

 

 

Hi Meg,

Thanks for posting this on this site.  I suspect many teachers are gearing up for school again, but I have passed this on to our national Grassroots Leadership Team and a few others who have been involved with the Natural Teachers Network, including our first award winner 5th Grade Teacher Larry Volpe in California.  They may have some ideas.  I also sent this to 4H which is working on a Neighborhood Nature Club initiative, and some of our key C&NN Coalition leaders.   Best of luck with this important project, and you keep up the great work also.  John

Meg,

One of the people I contacted is interested in talking with you about the study guide.  She is a fabulous writer and has the time.  Could you send me your email address at john.thielbahr003@gmail.com so I can give it to her.  Thanks. j t

Thank you so much for all of your thoughtful replies so far - I can't wait to look them all over more in depth!  @John, I  sent you an email and would love to connect with the educator you mention.

Mary - We are going to work with the person recommended to us by John on the first version of the study guide for PLAY AGAIN for our Maine Educational Campaign.   Our goal is to write a grant for an expanded national version when we get this one done (I would love to do an international version).  So I hope we can stay in touch.  Your organization looks wonderful. 

As for  now, we are hoping to include a small number (4-8) full activities along with a page or two of ideas for activities (just "starters" for teachers, such as Study these authors, artists and photographers, Take a daily/weekly walk as a class, Start a school garden, Keep nature journals etc) as well as links and book resources.  The only activity we have settled on so far is an Eco-Timeline activity that encourages students to reflect on their relationship with technology as well as nature.  Right now we are not aiming for standards based activities, but hopefully with the expanded version we can take this into consideration. 

I really wish I could be at the SF conference but I am traveling to a festival in the Dominican this month (barring another hurricane!). 

 

Thanks so much for any help you an offer.  You can reach me directly at playagainfilm at gmail dot com


Mary Jackson said:

Hi Meg

I really enjoyed watching the trailer to your video.  We (Learning through Landscapes) are also looking a lot at natural play experiences for children at the moment and my colleagues in Scotland have some interesting work running on this at the moment - do visit http://ltl.org.uk/scotland/projects.php on our website to find outa little more.

Does being outside the UK excluded us from being considered to write your study resources? It may be innapropriate but I thought I would ask!  Do you have a budget, idea for the scale of the publication, deadline etc?

In the meantime are there any particular themes, subject areas you would like some ideas for? - I am sure we could send you one or two to help.

Will you be attending the school grounds conference in San Francisco next month? http://greenschoolyards.org/home - if you are it would be a great opportunity to discuss the issues you raise.

With best wishes

Mary

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