Let’s get New Mexico’s kids outdoors to learn!
Celebrate the third annual New Mexico Outdoor Learning Week BY observing in i Naturalist, joining the Outdoor Learning Week 2023 Project, walking around campus using the Water Walk Activity, or selecting an activity from this page or in the Outdoor Learning Toolkit!
All children in New Mexico deserve the meaningful experiences and sense of discovery that result from outdoor learning. Research shows that when we support youth in daily outdoor experiences, they are healthier and gain the knowledge and skills to innovate solutions to social and environmental issues.1
Get Outside with i Naturalist!
- If you are new to i Naturalist, first you need to create a free account. Once you do that, you can start observing! It’s easy to participate:
- Set up an account on iNaturalist.org or in the iNaturalist app, and join the Outdoor Learning Week 2023 Project. Take and submit your photos of plants, animals and their signs (tracks, scat, feathers, etc.), plants, and fungi that you might find during the week. **Remember to not take pictures of pets and mark any planted plants as “captive/cultivated.”
Plus, when you tag EENM (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) in your post from your public social media account, we’ll share it to highlight how you get kids outside in New Mexico! Be sure to watch our socials for lots of inspiration during the week!
Do the WATER WALK at YOUR SCHOOL!
Partners: Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District, Valencia Soil and Water Conservation District, and B.E.M.P. put together an easy-to-do water walk that can be adaptive for all ages and grade levels! This is an easy hour or so activity that can be done anytime during outdoor learning week! If your school participates in this activity, tell us about it and we will share it over Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
Outdoor Learning Lessons and Activities for All Ages
Use these free, NM-focused resources developed by our partners to provide your students with inspiration, meaningful learning experiences, and fun during Outdoor Learning Week and beyond!
MANY MORE ACTIVITIES FOUND IN THE OUTDOOR LEARNING TOOLKIT! (lessons, guides, getting comfortable with the outdoors, activities, and more! All FREE!
Bird Observation and Drawing: all ages, science and art, developed by Audubon Southwest
Practice drawing skills, and then go outside to observe and draw organisms in nature.
Garden Musings: all ages, science and art, developed by the Santa Fe Botanical Garden
Santa Fe Botanical Garden’s 2020 Earth Day project, Garden Musings, includes a set of 12 mindful, observation-based activities to do outdoors with very few materials; try one or all 12 with your students.
Going Out – Field Activities (for visits to the bosque): all ages, science, developed by the Bosque Education Guide
This chapter from the Bosque Education Guide compiles an assortment of field activities to support multiple visits to the bosque.
Meandering Channels: all ages, science, developed by the Bosque Education Guide
This chapter from the Bosque Education Guide compiles classroom and schoolyard-based activities about the Rio Grande grouped by these topics: natural history, geology, water, and human influence.
Nature Journaling: all ages, science and ELA, developed by the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program
One way to monitor the environment is through nature journaling! When doing this activity, we invite you to slow down, be present, and pay attention.
The Lost Words: all ages, ELA and art, developed by the Railyard Park Conservancy
In this lesson inspired by The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, students connect to the natural world found in their own backyards, parks, and trails, by exploring, observing, drawing, photographing, reading and writing about natural elements.
Water Walk: all ages, science, developed by the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program and Valencia Water Conservation District
This outdoor observatory walk focused on watershed health is a great way for students to get some outdoor time, benefit from fresh air and physical exercise, and the opportunity to connect to the ecosystems surrounding their local schools and/or homes.
Your Monitoring Site: all ages, science, developed by the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program
In this lesson, you will explore another way to monitor the environment by creating your own monitoring site.
A Walk in the Woods: K-3rd grade, science, developed by the Albuquerque Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority
Use this field journal to observe and identify living things in the schoolyard or your backyard.
Ecosystem Quadrat and Lesson Plan: 5th grade, science, developed by the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center
Observe everything present in a quadrat placed on the ground outside, and draw and record observations.
Scavenger Hunt (en Espanol): 5th grade, science and ELA, developed by the Sandia Mountain Natural History Center
A scavenger hunt for searching for natural things in an ecosystem and understanding their importance.
Students Using LandPKS to Share Data, Information, and Knowledge: 5-8th grade, science, developed by the Asombro Institute for Science Education
Learners collect data on soil properties, land cover, and other characteristics of one or more sites in the schoolyard or local area; they then use the data they collected to generate Land Capability Classifications using the free LandPKS app.
1Nicole M. Ardoin, Alison W. Bowers, Noelle Wyman Roth & Nicole Holthuis (2018) Environmental education and K-12 student outcomes: A review and analysis of research, The Journal of Environmental Education, 49:1, 1-17, DOI: 10.1080/00958964.2017.1366155