30 Days of Outdoor Learning: Starts May 3, 2021

857 Teachers

Have Signed Up So Far!

We are thrilled to be hosting another 30-day Walking Curriculum challenge! Starting May 3, 2021, educators around the globe (preK through high school) will be taking learning outside for part of the day–rain or snow or shine–for 30 days.

With The Walking Curriculum: Evoking Wonder And Developing A Sense of Place as a resource and guide for outdoor learning educators can engage students in imagination- and inquiry-focused walks designed to enrich their understanding of the regular curriculum. Outdoor, walking-based learning fuels cross-curricular activities that students pursue throughout the rest of their day.

This page offers all you need to engage in this challenge! Scroll down to get all the information you need to participate and sign up! Join the movement to #getoutside!

NEW! Watch THIS webinar (April 20, 2021) on Imaginative Ecological Education and the Walking Curriculum to learn more. (Thank you to the Outdoor Learning Store for offering this Spring 2021 learning series!)

Help Us Meet Our Goal: 1000 Educators

Update: We didn’t quite meet our goal of 1000 educators but we are thrilled to have over 840 educators signed up!

We have donated $1,000 to the Environmental Youth Alliance (EYA) to support their awesome programs!

EYA supports BIPOC youth to connect with nature, community, and skills to become environmental stewards and community leaders. Read more about EYA, their programs, and how you can get involved here.

Sign Up for the 30-Day Walking Curriculum Challenge

Spread The Word

Anytime: Share the graphics below with your social media networks! Invite colleagues to #getoutside with the #walkingcurriculum for 30 days. (Drag/drop these images to your device.)

During the 30-day challenge: We want to see what you and your students do during the 30-day challenge! Spread the word and help motivate others to #getoutside by posting pictures and videos of all the ways your students learn outdoors. Share images and videos of your activities, messages about your insights or ideas, and also images of resources you notice help stimulate your students’ wonder and curiosity for learning outside.

Tag us on instagram @centre_for_imagination and on Twitter @CIRCE_SFU/@perfinker. Let’s follow each other by using the following hashtags: #walkingcurriculum #getoutside

Prizes

Vancouver Kidsbooks has donated two $20 gift cards! (Use at their West Broadway and Edgemont locations or their fantastic online store.)

Kidsbooks has been an independently owned and operated bookstore in Vancouver for over 30 years. With a wide selection of children and adult books as well as crafts, games and puzzles, Kidsbooks is sure to please any families looking to revisit the classics from their childhood, as well as discover new, exciting authors!

Canada’s Non-profit Outdoor Learning Store has donated two $50 gift cards! The Outdoor Learning Store offers a variety of kits and equipment designed to make outdoor learning enriching and engaging in any season. Products include Outdoor Learning Equipment, Indigenous Resources, Student Resources, Educator Resources, and so much more!

Canada’s Non-profit Outdoor Learning Store is a social enterprise that offers outdoor learning equipment & resources for educators & learners while supporting Canadian outdoor learning non-profit organizations.


Water Rangers is pleased to offer one prize winner the Freshwater Explorer testkit, their flagship water testing kit, designed for freshwater. Water Rangers have designed this kit for people of all ages. No previous testing experience required.

Water Rangers is on a mission to build the tools to help citizens and scientists easily record and analyze water data so that they can use the data to learn about problems, share discoveries and engage with their neighbours. All testkits are built for communities, schools, and passionate individuals who want to learn about the health of local lakes, rivers, or other waterbodies! Water Rangers have tested them against professional equipment to make sure you get accurate tests in the field without a lab.

Resources

Click here to download an information letter for parents

Try out these FREE teaching activities for K-12 from the Imaginative Ecological Education website. Of course, there are many different activities you can try with your students outside. Key: Engage their imaginations in learning and strive to create cross-curricular connections!

NEW this year! Click here to share examples of how you are taking the principles of imaginative outdoor learning and/or the Walking Curriculum ideas and extending them to both support learning inside the classroom and connecting with other curricular areas. 

Participate in the Canadian Outdoor Learning Spring Virtual Workshop Series

We are very excited to be partnering with Canada’s Non-profit Outdoor Learning Store to offer this Canadian Outdoor Learning Spring Virtual Workshop Series! Join us on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4pm Pacific in April and May for this free series of 1 hour virtual workshops on a diversity of outdoor learning topics. Each workshop will include time for discussions, Q&A, certificates of attendance and prizes! More information & registration, click here.

On Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 4PM (PST), Dr. Gillian Judson will be kicking off this virtual workshop series. Dr. Gillian Judson will be sharing some of her work around engaging students with their natural and cultural contexts, which is a central aim of Imaginative Ecological Education, or IEE.

Through cross-curricular practices like The Walking Curriculum (Judson, 2018), IEE can help develop students’ sense of Place and leave them feeling connected in different ways with the contexts in which they live and learn.

This webinar will introduce learning principles and practical Place-based teaching strategies that can help students engage with the mystery and wonder of the world around them as they meet curricular objectives.

Professional Learning Opportunity: Connect with Other Outdoor Leaders and Educators

In the 2021-2022 school year Dr. Gillian Judson will be conducting research around the nature of teaching, learning and leadership in relation to the Walking Curriculum. Do you want to connect with others passionate about imagination and outdoor learning?

Please leave your name/email below and someone from imaginED will contact you to tell you more about this research/PD opportunity.

Get Connected Here

Help Us Improve

Got 5 minutes? We are seeking your feedback on the Walking Curriculum. Please help us improve by taking this anonymous survey!

New to The Walking Curriculum?

What is the Walking Curriculum?

Playgrounds and schoolyards are underused resources for ecological learning.

The Walking Curriculum is one example of an approach to teaching called Imaginative Ecological Education. This is a Place-based approach to education that affords learners opportunities to learn with/in the natural and cultural contexts where they go to school. What sets Walking Curriculum and other IEE activities apart are the use of tools (cognitive tools) that actively engage emotion and imagination in learning.  Basic premise: imagination fuels meaning-making.

Learn more: Walking Curriculum/IEE initiatives are currently being developed/led by Dr. Gillian Judson, Executive Director of the Centre for Imagination, Research and Culture at Simon Fraser University.

This resource is also available in FRENCH and SPANISH.

Why walk? Why take learning outside?

“The simple act of taking a walk—a walk with a curricular focus or purpose—can have multiple positive consequences. For example, walking can support students’ health and wellbeing. It can also emotionally and imaginatively engage learners by changing the “context” of learning. On a deeper level, a new level of curriculum relevance can emerge for students when learning occurs in real-world contexts. Going even deeper, walking-based practice can support students in developing a sense of Place. … Sense of Place is what can change how our students understand the world of which they are part—it can help them re-imagine their relationship with the natural and cultural communities they live in.”

~Gillian Judson, A Walking Curriculum (2018)

Walking Curriculum Testimonials: Hear from Teachers

The Walking Curriculum Challenge has provided the gift of intentional time for my students and I to connect with our local place.  Together, we have uncovered patterns, relationships, and wonders as well as imagining stories that lived in our space before we did, ones we are creating now, and openings for new stories that we may leave to others through our work. Engaging in place-based walks daily has been a catalyst for creating community with each other and our surroundings. The momentum of other classroom teachers and communities participating provided further inspiration and connections that continue!”

Sarah Schnare

“I discovered the Walking Curriculum last year after a colleague recommended it. The Walking Curriculum aligned with my interest in place-based learning, and a desire to share my passion to connect students more meaningfully with the environment around them. Initially, my students were hesitant to embrace the Walking Curriculum because it was a novel and unfamiliar experience, but each day we went outside they became more engaged with their learning. Students enjoyed bringing their learning outdoors, and I was impressed with the new insights and connections they were able to make with their local environment. Using the Walking Curriculum with my students was a great way to start the year, and it has provided a strong foundation to continue developing their connection to place and their local environment in meaningful ways.”

Mike Foley

“Hillcrest Elementary in Salmon Arm, BC, sits nestled amongst a forest of towering Fir trees and lanky Maples. Our school grounds and surrounding community are full of possibility for outdoor learning. It was in this context, as I explored ways to engage in this natural area, that I discovered Gillian Judson’s Walking Curriculum. As I dabbled and tried a few of the walks, I began to feel ready for more!

In many ways, the 30-Day Walking Curriculum Challenge set the stage for our year. Now we understand what it looks like and feels like to explore and learn outdoors.  Our shared experiences inspired friendships in those first weeks of school.  And our gratitude and wonder endures as we continue to get outside and appreciate all there is to discover in this place that we are lucky enough to call home.”

Laurelle Larmand

Event Supporters

The Walking Curriculum is pleased to partner with the following organizations. Click on their logo to find out more about the great work they do!