Love books, love nature play…
Literacy is about loving life and expressing it in different ways. Outside children are often observed talking more, cooperating, socialising, mark making and doing many literacy activities often through their own choice. Please enjoy trying the activities and suggestions in the posts below and let me know how you get on.
Practical tips for organising writing outside all year round
Punctuation inspiration from outside
Using wordles to support outdoor learning activities
An approach that begins with what children do best – playing in a natural setting
Using tyres for poetry work
Using simple sayings for scavenger hunts and discussions. Creating diamante poems
Using syringes for writing in the snow
The benefits of children creating trails
How to keep your secret messages secret outside!
An interdisciplinary art, design and writing project
Ideas about developing characters, settings and sequencing stories outside
Beech folklore and public art used to inspire writing outdoors
A super context for fantasy small-world play outside. It’s been an ongoing project in Westpark nursery.
Practical suggestions to support children as they move into this process
Learning to read and write letters through a photo-based app for children
Creating letters using double sided sticky tape and natural materials
Using sticks to create capital letters
Making letters from natural materials
Time to get outside, get active and enjoy reading or finding out more about books. 10 suggestions to get you started.
Some basic advice to get this going.
How to use a washing line to create and tell stories
Ten things you need to find out. A practical reading activity outside for the start of a new term
A simple reading activity outside
Using maps, clues and old-fashioned deduction skills to solve a puzzle
Linking stones to their potential for literacy and maths activities
The power of abstract designs on story telling
Using landmarks and literacy with young children
Outdoor literacy at its best
For seeing letters and outdoor spaces in a different way
A World Book Day activity
How to lengthen the life of a book by taking it outside
Why snowdrops show that spring is coming
Holiday reading and school grounds provision
Environmental print that is not so welcoming
An Earth Day activity using this book as a springboard
Using wordplay and sculptures to explore a local area
Bird jokes, poems, quotes and ideas for linking literacy with our feathered friends
More birds, word games and sculptures that help people interpret and enjoy the local area and the bird life.
The identification apps which are simple enough for children and adults who know little about nature to use. Great for reading for meaning and purpose!
Following simple instructions activity to help children get to know each other outside.
Using books as a springboard into learning outside.
Start collecting seeds in these DIY packets. Create a seed exchange with local schools. Oh and the children can’t help reading the text on their packets!
A simple way of making packets to collect and store seeds. Brilliant! Again, children talk about and read the text on the paper they use.
Fuse Rabbie Burn’s poem with Valentine’s Day – learn poetry and mapping skills
A budget approach to books bags or story sacks. Just add nature play ideas – no need to worry about missing jigsaw pieces anymore.
Talking and Listening Outside
Using your sense of hearing
A free play approach to literacy acquisition outside – lots of talking and listening and lots more beside!
A clear structure and approach to developing oral story telling skills outside by Catherine Heppenstall
The story of the holly, the pine and the robin. A little Christmas tale to warm your heart.
A photographic scavenger hunt to develop vocabulary and understanding of collective nouns.
Ideas and suggestions for using puppets outside. Check out the link to the video clip. It’s inspirational!
Story stones are one of the most versatile creative literacy resources. Time to create some and get those stories flowing! Great for writing as well as talking and listening.
Juliet runs outdoor literacy courses for pre-school and primary teachers and practitioners
Here’s some of her past workshops which include elements of talking, listening, reading and writing:
Outdoor literacy workshop based on circles
The outdoor literacy activities covered at the Growing Greener Futures Conference which had a focus on leaves
Three poetry structures well worth using outside
Using hearts and Tanka poems at Valentine’s Day literacy workshop
Linking literacy with journeys
Finally, Anne Sutherland kindly sent me this link to her dissertation about the impact of language work outside. It’s called L is for Language – you need to scroll down and click on the link. I’m interested to know about any other curriculum-specific research out there at any level.