Outdoor Learning: Taking Literacy and Numeracy Outdoors (Grades 4-9) - 3 Part Series
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Outdoor Learning: Taking Literacy and Numeracy Outdoors (Grades 4-9) - 3 Part Series
Presented by: Andrea Barnes
Located at: Fish Creek Environmental Centre (Boreal Room)
13931 Woodpath Road SW, Calgary, AB
Presented by: Andrea Barnes
Located at: Kananaskis Country
Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, (snowshoeing location TBD), AB
About the Session


Join this 3-part learning series, set in the great outdoors, where we’ll expand our interdisciplinary literacy and numeracy repertoire, with an interwoven wellness focus, using the land as our inspiration.  We will learn from each other while also engaging with land experts to deepen our outdoor learning resources facilitated by outdoor expert, Andrea Barnes. Come and enjoy the mental health benefits of movement and spending time outdoors while we explore connections to the various subject disciplines.

We will explore land-based learning, what it means to us, and how we can incorporate it into our daily teaching and year plans. 

The sessions will highlight three approaches to learning from the land: 

  • Part 1: October 26 ( 4:30 -6:00 pm) “Changing Landscapes” (eg. climate change, flood, urban wildlife, human impacts) while outside at the Fish Creek Environmental Learning Centre
  • Part 2: January 21 (Full Day) “Connecting to Landscapes” (eg. snowpack studies, wildlife tracking, environmental inquiry, reciprocity) through a full day guided snowshoeing trip in Kananaskis Country.
  • Part 3: April 26 (4:30 -6:00 pm) “Exploring Landscapes” (eg. population studies, tracking, monitoring, analyzing) while outdoors at the Fish Creek Environmental Learning Centre

These topics have direct links with middle school science curricula, and will weave literacy and numeracy outcomes into each of these land-based learning objectives through:

  • Learning techniques that include land-inspired stories, engaging projects, inquiry ideas, and interactive games. 
  • Profiling and distributing quality resources and planned activities for your classroom. 
  • Modeling 'connecting to land' by spending time together in a winter wonderland in Kananaskis Country. 

These elements will help your students be more observant, reflective, and curious about the land and take one small step towards building reciprocity into your teaching repertoire. 

About the Presenter(s)

Andrea Barnes is passionate about teaching and learning outdoors. She has been the Formal Education Coordinator for Alberta Parks in Kananaskis Country for almost 20 years where she has been developing, delivering and evaluating nature and field experiences for students and professional development workshops for teachers. She is inspired and influenced by progressive teaching pedagogy, infusing Land-based learning principles and the natural learning cycle in her programs. She aspires to have a growth mindset when it comes to improving her practice.  Andrea is also a professional learning contractor and a classroom teacher. She worked with an outdoor school in Canmore as their Nature Immersion Curriculum Specialist and most recently stepped back into the classroom to teach during the Covid 19 online learning period in the spring of 2020.

Fee: $60.00

Registration Notes:

January 21 will be a full day outside.  Participants are required to bring their own snacks and lunch as food will not be provided.  Your lunch should fit in your backpack and be edible without a microwave.    

More information to come regarding clothing and snowshoes for January.

All three sessions will take place entirely outside! Please dress in extra warm layers so you’re comfortable sitting and engaging outdoors. 

This land-based learning series will take place outdoors, so we will be continuing with these sessions in-person.    Masks will be required (unless you have a mask exemption) and we will ensure physical distancing as per the provincial guidelines.


Andrea Barnes