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Weekly Challenge for #EnviroEd # 61: Snow as a Teaching Tool

February 8, 2015

Ranger Rob 2

Last week, as is the norm, groundhogs across North America could not agree on whether spring was coming early or whether it was not due for another six weeks.

Many folk were perhaps eager to get the rodent prophet’s forecast because a huge portion of the continent is under snow this week.

But I do feel that snow is one of a classroom teacher’s most underutilized tools for learning.

For numeracy it can be a wonderfully experiential tool for measurement, temperature, wind speeds, geometry and more. For language it can be the perfect atmosphere for stories such as Robert Service’s The Cremation of Sam McGee or perhaps The Hockey Sweater  by Roch Carrier. Snow can be a tool to teach visual arts, physical education and so, so much more.

So this week’s challenge, while simple is time sensitive. I encourage you to work with your students to create an engaging and practical lesson utilizing the snow outside your school to teach or to enhance those topics you are already teaching in the classroom. Share your success via this blog or online using the hashtag #EnviroEd. If looking for ideas on how to use snow with your current math lessons or elsewhere – by all means send me a message as well.

Outdoor and environmental education are not add ons – instead, like technology or other teaching manipulatives – they are critical tools for helping learners better understand concepts.

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