Art in the Garden

On of the subject areas that can easily be taken to the garden or an outdoor classroom is art! Being outside allows you to get a little messy with art projects you’d normally do be wary to do inside, but the garden can also offer up free natural materials and inspiration for art projects. Here…

Circle Time Storytelling

We’ve shared frameworks for storytelling in the classroom before, but I wanted to pass along this resource developed by Puanani Burgess for facilitating community storytelling. She offers icebreakers, poems, and philosophies to help guide conflict resolution and community building. Here’s one poem that reminded me of many of the beautiful collaborations that have led to…

Community Engagement in the time of Covid-19 (& beyond)

Hester Street, a non-profit dedicated to neighborhood development shaped by the people living in those neighborhoods, has developed a beautiful Resource Guide to Community Engagement during the time of Covid-19. Much of the guide also proved useful in creatively thinking about remotely leading student in project-based lessons. What is a classroom if not a small…

Mulch Bounty

This summer’s strong and windy storms had a wonderful silver lining in the form of a HUGE pile of FREE nutrient-rich mulch made from the chipped-up felled branches of trees in Greenwood. We’ve made trips to playgrounds all around Brooklyn and Queens with carloads of this natural treasure, but our capacity to distribute is limited….

Math in the Playground Training via Zoom

Take a look at this recorded Zoom Teacher Training with Jan Cohen of UrbanMathTrails to learn how to implement the Trust for Public Land’s  “Math in the Playground” K-5 lessons and activities in your schoolyard. Linked to curriculum standards, these activities promise to engage your students, while developing your students’ math skills as they return from remote learning. These lessons, which utilize gardens,…

Movement Challenges (w distance built in)

We’ve posted about the incredible organization The Movement Creative in the past, and we want to share some of their recently developed online resources. Just as their philosophy focuses on tuning into the natural flow of movement and adjusting to obstacles you come across, their organizational philosophy has also been excellent at adapting to social-distance…

Coming Together Through Stories

In our years working with communities to design and program their playgrounds, we’ve heard countless stories emerge around the life of a school, neighborhood, and playground. Each playground is its own little universe. We know that people heal, connect, and learn from community and generational stories, and we love finding ways to uplift and foster…

Seeding Civic Engagement through your Playground

“Research suggests that youth learn to be political by forming attachments to their communities and accessing opportunities in the settings of their everyday lives.” Wray-Lake, Laura, “How Do Young People Become Politically Engaged?” Child Development Perspectives By being involved in the programs and spaces of their communities, kids feel more connected and empowered to be active in political life…

Reading in the Garden

One great use of your playground’s garden and gazebo is to cozy up with a good book or lead storytime, either as part of classroom reading time or at your leisure on the weekend. Here are a few great resources that can help support literacy in the playground: Tinkergarten shared a List of 24 Books…

Teaching Outside

As schools plan for the many possibilities for what teaching might look like in the Fall of 2020, we’re wondering if now’s the time to consider maximizing use of the playground, garden, and outdoor classroom to support outdoor learning. Green Schoolyard America is working with a cohort of educators to consider the details around planning…