Ideas for Teaching Outside the Classroom

By Huntington Learning Center

Sometimes, your students need a change of scenery. Taking your students outside the classroom can be highly beneficial, energizing students and giving them the chance to interact and learn in a totally different way.

Below are a few ideas from Huntington to help move your teaching venue beyond the traditional classroom:

Field trips. The field trip is the most obvious way to take students into the real world, but don’t think that your only option is the art or science museum. Tour your city’s sports arena. Explore your area’s trails, hiking spots, rivers, or lakes. Visit a historic site. Check out a college campus.

Take science outside. What’s on or near your school’s campus? A grassy field? Trees? A body of water? Wildflowers? Use the area as a learning ground to study plants, rocks, or insects.

Team up with other classes. Could you pair older and younger students for a mentorship or book buddies program? Could you let small groups of your students observe another class that is covering a topic your class is also studying?

Use the weather. The changing weather and seasons create obvious teaching opportunities for science teachers, but English teachers might take students outside for creative writing or poetry units to let the sounds and sights inspire them. Math teachers could have students track and graph rainfall, wind direction, and temperature.

Make it active. Use the spaces within your school to make your learning more active when feasible. Could you invigorate a lecture by moving to the auditorium or library? Could the gym serve as an occasional venue for student discussions or group presentations?

Understandably, most teachers feel best equipped in their own classrooms. However, you can boost your students’ growth and enrich their learning by periodically changing things up. Try something and see how it goes!