Outdoor/Indoor Chunking in KS2
When we move to KS2, the children’s learning becomes more detailed, which is a natural progression in their educational journey. Therefore our style of outdoor learning needs to adjust slightly to support that. If you are a school that also appreciates recorded work, you may find this method gives more opportunities for you to manage this. At MPT, we do this by using the ‘Indoor/outdoor chunking method for KS2’. This involves taking a lesson objective and looking at what parts would benefit from being taught outside and what parts would be best taught indoors.
Let’s take an introductory lesson on solids, liquids and gases. The teacher may decide to teach the introduction from a PowerPoint. A teacher then can clearly explain new vocabulary and use visuals to show the changes in particles. This would be hard for the learners to grasp without the presentation should they have never been introduced to this before, plus a small video clip and other interactive materials could bring this to life for them. We do not want to do outdoor learning simply to tick a box BUT because we know it will benefit the children’s learning experience.
However, it would make sense to take the main activity outside. The children could then use that bigger space to become the particles themselves. Practically and actively visualising what the molecules do and why they perform this way. Could the children then cluster together for solids and spread out wide for gases? The teacher could also put the children into groups and ask them to show you the movement of particles if they were milk, steam or butter? What if the butter melted?
The children could do this on a sheet or in their book, but haven’t they sat for long enough? Would a burst of activity invigorate and engage their brains? Give them a thirst and opinion of learning that it is fun? Is this a purpose to go outside over being in? Is a lesson like this supporting their mental and physical health? Yes, yes and yes! So this part of the lesson has a purpose as to why you have gone outside.
The children have now had some intense concentration, practical learning of their objective physically and with enjoyment. 9/10 times the children are ready to come back in and concentrate. Knowing this, what a great time to come back inside and regain some concentration. Try completing a small post-assessment sheet to evaluate your outdoor lesson’s effectiveness and to evidence their understanding.
In summary, this Muddy Puddle lesson was Indoor/Outdoor Chunked :
Intro – inside
Main activity – outside
Plenary – inside.
Indoor/Outdoor Chunking of a lesson can happen in other ways. Sometimes it makes sense to do the introduction outside, such as starting a PSHE/ Wellbeing lesson to allow the children to focus and chat comfortably about essential issues, such as the Muddy Walk and Talk and taking the rest of the lesson indoors.
Alternatively, you may want to end a lesson outdoors and do mindful activities such as Clearing Cloudy Minds and Stone Serenity to reflect on their learning and next steps. Another excellent outdoor learning tip for (dare we say it) those who have to sit tests or assessments, try some brain breaks such as Capture the Flag and the Golden Stick. An instant brain break, team bonding lesson and happy time for all.