Outdoor Learning

Nardin Academy offers an intellectually stimulating experience for students through the use of Outdoor Learning Classrooms that appeal to all learning styles and ignite all five senses.

The Outdoor Classrooms are comprised primarily of two “garden” spaces: a pollinator habitat garden and an edible garden. Each space has a unique dynamic that helps learners gain a deeper understanding of the place and communities, both human and natural, that they participate in.

The Pollinator Habitat Garden

This garden is a space for children to explore the dimensions of habitat while learning about the animal and insect communities that inhabit the spaces outside of the school. Time in the garden can be as simple as a Kindergartner using their senses to identify colors and bird songs or a 4th grader making nesting boxes for birds based on observations about what they seek for cover, food, and survival.

The garden provides a hand’s on, cross-curricular educational environment for science, literacy, math, art, and history. Learning how to sort and classify by plant or insect attributes applies math and science studies, observing and describing the constant motion of all the pollinators busy at work incorporates ELA, and learning how previous generations and 1st people’s lived in cooperation with their local natural communities integrates Social Studies.

The learning that occurs allows students to experience the world and provides the foundational elements that lead to improved critical thinking skills that are in such demand for 21st century learners.

The Edible Garden

The edible garden is a project space for children to learn experientially about the life cycles of plants, the cycles of seasons and the interdependence of those things on local climate.

Being present in the outdoor classroom allows students to use all of their senses to make observations, ask fundamental questions and to actively create projects which will test their understanding of how the natural world, the environment, and human beings co-create the dynamics of the places that effect and influence all of our lives.

Student projects can range from a “3 Sisters planting” which explores the synergistic companion planting strategies of 1st peoples, to learning about the biology of plants by learning how to save seeds from a crop, and then planting them again in the next growing cycle.

"At Nardin, we are committed to using hands-on learning as a means to engage our students in meaningful ways." Nardin Teacher

Benefits Of An Outdoor Classroom

  • Stronger language, problem solving, and communication skills
  • Cross-curricular educational opportunities
  • Learning to work together in a cooperative environment
  • Children become stewards of the community they live in