What is English in Nature all about?
We are just getting started but here are 36 of the most fun activties you can do while practicing English in Nature.
Many of these activities are personal favorites of mine that I’d been teaching for years, before I’d even heard of the concept of CLIL (short for “content and language integrated learning”). Most are workshops I’ve taught in both Engilsh and German to speakers of either language. All are adapted to be suited to English-language learners and can be matched to the age and proficiency levels of any learners.
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As you’ll see in the samples, the structure of the lessons and some of the methods are quite different to those designed for native speakers, even where the content may be essentially the same. There are also important differences between this kind of lesson and conventional language lessons.
- Nature Journal Writing
- Habitat-Mapping & Orienteering
- Nature Shadow Theater: Nature Folk & Fairy Tales
- Treasure Hunt & The Art of Tracking
- 12 Wild Herbs to Identify and Use
- Ecosystem Pond & Stream
- Ecosystem Woodlands & Meadows
- Bees, Butterflies & Other Pollinators
- Creatures of the Night: Bats, Rats, Cats, Moths & Owls
- By Land, By Water: Amphibious Adaptations
- Candle-Making with Beeswax
- Weaving with Willow
- Tree-Free Paper-Making
- Felting with Wool and Other Fibers
- Winter Tree ID & Bud Pushing
- Oh Deer! Natural Jewelry Workshop
- Herbarium: Build A Plant-Press Workshop
- Composting: How to Make Farmer’s Gold
- Starting a Teaching Garden
- Insect Hotel Workshop
- Bird Feeder Workshop
- Bat Box Workshop
- Wild Foods Workshop
- Fire Baker Workshop
- Wacky Woodland Olympics
- The Tiny Seed & The Great Nut (Dispersal)
- Inside Flowers
- Catching Bugs & Making Wishes
- A Year in the Life of a Frog
- Migration Headaches & Nest Building
- Animal Homes: Tireless, Genious Builders
- Nature’s Remedies: Home-made Health- & Homecare
- The Writer’s Quill & Other Uses of a Feather
- Making Earth Art Using Nature’s Palette
- Insect Expedition: Meeting Earth’s Most Numerous Creatures
- Upcycling, Not Downcycling, for Young Engineers
- Index Cards or
- Notebook for each learner
- Pencils or Pens
- Picture-Word Cards
- (optional) binoculars
- (optional) field guides
After spending just a few hours outdoors, your learners will notice that there are many things all around to see, name, describe and talk about, but they also notice quickly that finding the right words can be difficult. This makes conversation very short, often dissatisfying or even frustrating. Here's a fun and creative way to build vocabulary while staying in tune with the living world we're immersed in!
- Pass out an index card to each learner, or ask them to open to a blank page in their notebooks.
- Tell learners to look around them and choose something that catches their eye and write the name of it VERTICALLY on their card or on the blank page in their notebook (see illustration).
- If learners are not feeling very inspired or are strugglng to remember the names of the things they see, then lay out a few Picture-Word Cards of things that they might see around them to help them to choose a word.
- Now each learner should use each letter of the orignal word to start a new word or phrase that describes the original word (see illustration).
- If addtional help is needed:
- offer a few examples of words and phrases that describe by describing your own chosen item.
- lay out an assortment of words and phrases that could be used to describe.
Pin the cards next to the objects themselves or on a display/pinboard next to a picture of the items. Ask learners what words they like, which ones are new, which ones remind them of something or someplace else.