30 Days of Outdoor Imagination + Learning: Starts April 22, 2022

372 People

Have Signed Up for the Challenge!

We are so excited for you to join this year’s 30-day Walking Curriculum challenge! Celebrate Earth Day, April 22, 2022,  with educators and parents around the globe (Pre-K through high school) and take imagination + 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 and parents 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 #walkingcurriculum to #getoutside!

Watch THIS webinar (April 20, 2021) on Imaginative Ecological Education and the Walking Curriculum to learn more. (Check out the Outdoor Learning Store for more learning series recordings!)

Sign Up for the 30-Day Walking Curriculum Challenge

Last year imaginEd donated $1,000 to the Environmental Youth Alliance (EYA) to support their awesome programs!

This year we hope more learners get outside to experience imagination + learning, so we will donate $1 for every person who signs up! Our goal is $1,111! (do those 1’s look like legs to you too?)

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.

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

This Year’s Prizes Will Be Added ASAP!

Canada’s Non-profit Outdoor Learning Store has donated two $25 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.

Vancouver’s Kidsbooks has donated two $20 gift cards! Over thirty-five years ago, Kidsbooks started as a small idea and has grown over the past decades to be a thriving, exciting environment for children and adults who love reading and great books.

Kidsbooks is proud to be considered a partner of educators, librarians, parents, and children as we work together to put the best books in to the hands of booklovers in our communities.

Author Lauren MacLean has donated copies of her wonderful book “Me and My Sit Spot” to be given away to two participants in the challenge. Canadian Residents can purchase Lauren’s book at her store. Outside of Canada her Me and My Sit Spot can be purchased here. 

You can watch Lauren’s  video on Sit Spots, listen to her podcast, Mentoring Nature Connections and follow her on Instagram @mentoringnatureconnections

“What is a sit spot and how does it help nurture our relationship with the land? Developing this nature routine for yourself and your learners leads to so many possibilities for learning about our land and how we fit into it. Where is your sit spot?”

Natural Curiosity has donated copies of  “Natural Curiosity 2nd Edition: A Resource for Educators” to be given away to two participants in the challenge.

A description:

The Importance of Indigenous Perspectives in Children’s Environmental Inquiry

The second edition of Natural Curiosity supports a stronger basic awareness of Indigenous perspectives and their importance to environmental education. The Indigenous lens in this edition represents a cross-cultural encounter supporting what can become an ongoing dialogue and evolution of practice in environmental inquiry. Some important questions are raised that challenge us to think in very different ways about things as fundamental as the meaning of knowledge.

You can find the book for sale here: Natural Curiosity Book

We will be giving away copies of A Walking Curriculum: Evoking Wonder And Developing Sense of Place (K-12) by Gillian Judson!

The Walking Curriculum is an innovative interdisciplinary resource for educators K-12 who want to take student learning outside school walls. Walking Curriculum activities can be used in any context to develop students’ Sense of Place and to enrich their understanding of curricular topics. Based on principles of Imaginative Ecological Education, the 60 easy-to-use walking-focused activities in this resource are designed to engage students’ emotions and imaginations with their local natural and cultural communities, to broaden their awareness of the particularities of Place, and to evoke their sense of wonder in learning.


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!

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 connect with other curricular areas. Photos added to the google document may be shared on this site and across social media platforms during the challenge to show others the amazing things you and your students are doing!

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 Thursdays at 4pm Pacific from March to June 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 Thursday, May 12, 2022 at 4PM (PST), Gillian Judson (imaginED) and Heidi Wood (NOIIE)  introduce a new resource for imaginative, Place-centered and Indigenous Education. Walking Forward: Learning from Place interweaves First People’s Principles of Learning (FPPL), Imaginative Ecological Education (IEE), and teacher inquiry. This resource applies an Indigenous lens to The Walking Curriculum (TWC), reframing the first 30 walks in The Walking Curriculum in ways that connect to the nine First Peoples Principles of Learning.

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 Participants

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!

.           .                  .     .