An outdoor curriculum guide for meeting New York state academic standards using the Ray Pennock Memorial Nature Area and Trail
Using state academic standards to develop environmental and place-based education programs may increase the use of outdoor areas for academic study by teachers. Research suggests that environmental education, outdoor classrooms, and place-based education benefit students in many ways. Outdoor classrooms provide opportunities for meeting academic standards, increasing active participation and motivation, integrating content areas, and providing a context for new learning. To increase the use of outdoor facilities, standards-based environmental/outdoor education curricula should be available to teachers. The Ray Pennock Memorial Nature Area and Trail, on the grounds of the Sandy Creek Central School District in Sandy Creek, NY, is a valuable and underutilized academic resource. This project includes rationale and 6 environmental/outdoor education units for middle school students in the Science and English/language arts content areas.