Activity Introduction

cc-primary2-heroQuick summary: Outdoor learning has a wide range of benefits, but can be tricky to navigate for teachers. This lesson is designed to support teachers to manage student expectations and behaviour when taking part in outdoor learning. Students will work collaboratively to build a shared understanding and create a set of guidelines for participating in outdoor learning activities. They begin by identifying the value of time in nature and discuss why taking lessons outside will benefit their learning and development. Students will create posters or factsheets detailing the final set of guidelines for safety outdoors.

We’ve taken elements of this lesson and adapted them for remote learning. You can find this activity here.


Essential questions:

  • What are the benefits of outdoor learning?
  • What are the risks and opportunities involved in participating in outdoor learning?
  • Why do we need guidelines when participating in outdoor learning activities?
  • How can I help to develop strategies to enhance my own learning?

21st century skills:

developing guidelines skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions:




Visual Arts



Explore the different contribution of words and images to meaning in stories and informative texts (ACELA1786)

Sort and classify familiar objects and explain the basis for these classifications. Copy, continue and create patterns with objects and drawings (ACMNA005)

Explore ideas, experiences, observations and imagination to create visual artworks and design, including considering ideas in artworks by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists (ACAVAM106)

Use and experiment with different materials, techniques, technologies and processes to make artworks (ACAVAM107)

Create and display artworks to communicate ideas to an audience (ACAVAM108)


Year 1

Create short imaginative and informative texts that show emerging use of appropriate text structure, sentence-level grammar, word choice, spelling, punctuation and appropriate multimodal elements, for example illustrations and diagrams (ACELY1661)

Choose simple questions and gather responses and make simple inferences (ACMSP262)

Represent data with objects and drawings where one object or drawing represents one data value. Describe the displays (ACMSP263)


Year 2

Understand that spoken, visual and written forms of language are different modes of communication with different features and their use varies according to the audience, purpose, context and cultural background (ACELA1460)

Create short imaginative, informative and persuasive texts using growing knowledge of text structures and language features for familiar and some less familiar audiences, selecting print and multimodal elements appropriate to the audience and purpose (ACELY1671)

Collect, check and classify data (ACMSP049)

Create displays of data using lists, table and picture graphs and interpret them (ACMSP050)


Year 3

Understand how different types of texts vary in use of language choices, depending on their purpose and context (for example, tense and types of sentences) (ACELA1478)

Create and interpret simple grid maps to show position and pathways (ACMMG065)

Use materials, techniques and processes to explore visual conventions when making artworks (ACAVAM111)


Year 4

Understand how texts vary in complexity and technicality depending on the approach to the topic, the purpose and the intended audience (ACELA1490)

Use simple scales, legends and directions to interpret information contained in basic maps (ACMMG090)


Year 5

Understand the use of vocabulary to express greater precision of meaning, and know that words can have different meanings in different contexts (ACELA1512)

Use a grid reference system to describe locations. Describe routes using landmarks and directional language (ACMMG113)

Develop and apply techniques and processes when making their artworks (ACAVAM115)


Year 6

Investigate how vocabulary choices, including evaluative language can express shades of meaning, feeling and opinion (ACELA1525)


Organise and represent data in a range of formats including tables, graphs and large- and small-scale maps, using discipline-appropriate conventions (ACHASSI124)

Syllabus outcomes: VAS1.1, VAS1.2VAS2.2VAS3.2, ENe-8BEN1-2A, EN1-6BEN2-8BEN3-6B, MAe‑1WM, MAe‑2WM, MAe‑3WM, MAe‑8NAMA1‑1WM, MA1‑3WM, MA1-17SP, MA2-17MG, MA2‑2WM, MA3-17MG, MA3‑1WM, GE3-4,

General capabilities: Critical and Creative Thinking, Personal and Social Capability.

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability OI.7.

Topic: Outdoor Learning, Biodiversity.

Unit of work: Outdoor Learning Unit.

Time required: 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee lesson and facilitate discussion.

Resources required: Student Worksheet – one copy per student OR computers/tablets to access the online worksheet. Device capable of presenting a website to the class. A4 paper, strips of paper, pens or pencils, poster making materials.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Keywords: outdoor learning, guidelines, nature.

Cool Australia would like to thank The Albert George & Nancy Caroline Youngman Trust – managed by Equity Trustees.

Youngman Trust Logo

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

cc-primary8-heroTeacher preparation

Overarching learning goal: Students will recognise the risks and opportunities involved in outdoor learning, and develop strategies to manage risks and realise opportunities. They will understand that there need to be guidelines to guide both students and teachers in outdoor learning activities, and that they have the ability to develop strategies to enhance their own learning.

Outdoor learning information:

Outdoor Learning Series:


To help guide you through suggested activities in this unit, we have developed a series of icons designed to show what types of activities are involved and where these activities may take place (see Learning Activity Key below).

learning activity icons key updated-v3

This lesson is designed to support students and teachers undertaking the Outdoor Learning Unit. Click here

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Student Worksheet


Why should we be spending more time outdoors?







Why do we need Outdoor Learning Guidelines for lessons taken outside?






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