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1. Learning Locally - Community as Classroom

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Resources for extending the learning


  • Learning locally takes advantage of the natural, built and cultural amenities that exist in the community - just outside the school doors, often a short walk away, regionally or in wilderness areas.


  • Learning that takes place in local settings contributes to improved thinking and problem-solving skills. Decision making in authentic contexts is most relevant to learners.
  • The world beyond the classroom provides a more inclusive learning environment for all learning styles (e.g., auditory, visual, kinaesthetic).
  • Programs with a significant amount of learning time spent outdoors contribute to improved behaviour and physical wellbeing.
  • Using local experiences for learning allows students to explore the complexity of the world beyond the classroom.
  • Local experiences are accessible every learning day as well as outside of school hours—supporting a view that learning occurs anywhere and anytime.


  • Bring real objects from the outdoor world into the classroom to support writing across all subjects, science & social studies inquiry, math skills (estimating, measuring & calculating), art & music expression, etc.
  • Tune students in to happenings in the natural world around them by drawing attention to local events, sharing fascinating stories and participating in seasonally-related programs (see Step Outside).
  • Whenever possible, teach outdoors.  Clipboards, foam mats and an easel make a simple outdoor classroom.  
  • Take frequent advantage of those human-built and natural places within walking distance that can be integrated into your programme.   Guided neighbourhood walks can enhance a broad range of curriculum areas.
  • Look for opportunities to incorporate field trips that will require students to practice skills and apply what they have learned.