Back to School – 10 Things You Need to Find Out

9 August 2013 · 4 comments

in 10 Outdoor Ideas Series, Health & Wellbeing, Literacy Outdoors, Urban

Going back to school after the holidays is always exciting. If you are getting a new class, then often the first few days are spent on introductory activities which help everyone get to know a bit more about each other.

Gathering circleOne activity I often used to do, was a worksheet, “Twenty Things You Need To Find Out.” The task was to find someone different for each statement, such as “Find someone who likes pizza” or “Find someone who has brown eyes.”

Naturally, it is good to “Think Outdoors” so I thought I’d come up with a few suggestions for an equivalent outdoor exercise. It may be useful as one of several activities to help your class acclimatise to working outside. It can be used as an opportunity to set the same expectations as indoors. Naturally my suggestions are just that – please tweak, change and transform into something workable for your class and school grounds.

Find someone who…

1) Can show you a good place to find a minibeast

2) Can show you the best viewpoint

3) Knows which direction you are facing when leaving the school entrance

4) Can demonstrate how to play a game of hopscotch

5) Knows a nursery rhyme which can be sung beside a drainpipe

6) Can balance somewhere interesting safely

7) Can walk, trot and gallop outside, just like a pony!

8) Knows something you don’t about the school grounds. What is it?

9) Knows how many litter bins are in the school grounds

10) Is able to walk from one side of the playground to the other doing a really silly walk

It is worth thinking about the logistics of this activity in advance. For example, you may wish to have the children work in a designated part of the grounds rather than be remotely supervised. What matters is that the children go outside and show each other what they know and can do out there!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Kierna August 10, 2013 at 08:32

Great idea of using ice-breakers at the start of the year & love the outdoor twist. I often envy teachers of older pupils at he start of the school year when you can do this sort of activity! Mind you, wouldn’t swap my job on reality. Would you consider adding this to the OPP this week?


Hettie August 15, 2013 at 07:01

Kierna, I was just thinking exactly the same thing! I might try adapting this for my new reception children so that it becomes an exploring our outdoor space activity i.e. ‘Find a…great place to see a minibeast, listen to the wind, see an old tree’ and then later in the year although they won’t need to get to know each other we can do something similar to the original idea.


C Paton August 13, 2016 at 01:15

Great idea.


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