Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Out the door!

by Rhoda Redleaf, Redleaf Press

The title of this book made me think it would show me how to make a bird house of a milk carton or have a nature scavenger hunt. Instead, this is reference book for educators, camp counselors and anyone wanting a step by step guide to taking children "out the door."

Rhoda Redleaf uses a base of Reggio-inspired curriculums and provides "planned opportunities for engagement" and helps find the "learning potential in common, everyday experiences." Rather than providing a step by step lesson plan, the book gives suggestions so the children can discover and learn at their own pace.

The book is broken down into Nature Walks, Community Walks and Concept Walks. Each destination has opportunities, words, what to bring, activities during the walk, how to use the senses, games, documenting afterwards (art activities, writing, etc.) Additionally, the appropriate age levels for the walk, how to revisiting the walk for review and relevant books.

A few of my favorite sections were the walk to the stream, bakery and light / shadows. The book makes it clear that you can be in an urban setting and still leave the classroom for learning experiences. The book even provides permission slips, planning forms and checklists.

I recommend this book to anyone working (or living) with children. It will transform the way you take a walk!

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