Outdoor Explorer - STEAM Science and Nature Activities

Outdoor Explorer - STEAM Science and Nature Activities
Outdoor Explorer - STEAM Science and Nature Activities
Outdoor Explorer - STEAM Science and Nature Activities
Outdoor Explorer - STEAM Science and Nature Activities
Outdoor Explorer - STEAM Science and Nature Activities
Outdoor Explorer - STEAM Science and Nature Activities
Outdoor Explorer - STEAM Science and Nature Activities
Outdoor Explorer - STEAM Science and Nature Activities
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2 MB|25 pages
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Outdoor Explorer – STEAM Science and Nature ACTIVITIES

The natural world acts as a teacher who is always spontaneous and unexpected with new lessons hidden under rocks, in the skies, and even left behind on the ground for students to discover. The STEAM activities included in the Outdoor Explorer set encourage curiosity and stimulate all the senses of your learners. Don’t worry - if you’re in an urban area and finding a suitable outdoor area for your students is difficult, I’ve also provided an option on how you can look into bringing the outdoors into your classroom!


1. 15 STEAM-based activities (designed to be given on a weekly basis) that are separated into the following categories: (SEE PREVIEW)

  • Design and Craft (students are given a task of finding items in nature based on color, texture and size and creating art, models, or games)
  • Design and Build (students are given a STEM challenge to use items in nature to build a structure or object)

Extension activities – six options that you can include with outdoor activity to have students elaborate on their outdoor adventure

  • MY FAVORITE This extension is a writing prompt that will allow students to describe their favorite discovery or piece of evidence from the activity. Have them share in class!
  • THE UNEXPECTED This is another writing prompt that allows students to share something they may have observed out in nature that they didn’t expect to find, but thoroughly enjoyed while outdoors.
  • NATURE MEET ARTIST Add this extension activity when you would like to see sketches, colorings, rubbings, paintings, etc of what they discovered while they were exploring outdoors.
  • #SHAREIT Once you set up a classroom hashtag on a social media page (that you share with parents, students and #NittyGrittyScienceJr, of course), have students take pictures of their discoveries and share them via the hashtag. Use images to teach what makes a good picture, how to add comments and how to like each others images.
  • COLLECT and DISPLAY Certain activities will give students an opportunity to collect samples from nature. Students will collect the item(s) and place in a baggie. Have them tape to the backside of the activity page, so they remember to bring in and add to the classroom nature display.
  • SUPPORT YOUR ANSWER Prompt students with a crosscutting sentence stems, which should always be followed with the expectation that students support their responses with evidence. It is important to use the crosscutting concepts to support reasoning structures for students to use in responding to teacher prompts.

Program Overview (supports standards-based curriculum)

This program focuses on the second dimension of the NGSS - Crosscutting Concepts which include:

  • Patterns
  • Cause and effect
  • Scale, proportion, and quantity
  • Systems and system models
  • Energy and matter
  • Structure and function
  • Stability and change

Online State Resource Guide (ongoing list that will continue to be added to as more resources are found

Why do our students need nature?

Students thrive outdoors because they are encouraged to experience their surroundings instead of sitting still in it. Learning is masked by the constant curiosity of being surprised at what they may discover. When students are outdoor explorers, all of their senses are firing. Nature activities not only require observing, smelling, touching, and hearing, they also promote problem-solving skills, scientific and mathematical exploration and inquiry skills.

How does this program work in the classroom?

The Outdoor Explorer activities are meant to be included in the regular curriculum. Teachers have the option as using them in whole-class instruction, or the activities can be sent home for students to complete as weekly assignment.

Younger students can be assigned individual pages, while older students can be challenged to complete many activities in a certain time frame.

Terms of Use:

Cliff Note Version: Product is for ONE TEACHER – Please do not distribute illegally and if using with your students in an online capacity, make sure documents are password protected.

Copyright © Nitty Gritty Science, LLC and Nitty Gritty Science Jr. All rights reserved by author Dr. Erica Colón. This product is to be used by the original downloader only. Copying for more than one teacher, classroom, department, school, or school system is prohibited. This product may not be distributed or displayed digitally for public view. Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Clipart and elements found in this PDF are copyrighted and cannot be extracted and used outside of this file without permission or license. Intended for classroom and personal use ONLY.

Total Pages
25 pages
Answer Key
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