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Science & Nature

The Nature Crew: An All-Seasons Nature-Based Art, Science, Literacy, Math and Play Curriculum | Off-Screen Forest Homeschool Activities | Adaptations For Autism, ADHD, 2e, Dyslexia and other Neurodiverse Learners Included

*Over 160 learning activities* to connect with nature in Spring, Summer, Autumn/ Fall and Winter. Take as a Camp, or spread out over a semester, the class combines story-telling with open-ended, hands-on and nature-based activities to build creativity, imagination, language, science and maths skills through play and wonder.
Alice Campbell
186 total reviews for this teacher
5 reviews for this class
Completed by 41 learners
year old learners
Pre-Kindergarten-2nd US Grade Level
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced Level
learners per class


Charged upfront
$13 per week
Flexible schedule
Over 4 weeks
No live meetings

Available times

Table of available sections


Class Experience

The intended learning outcomes for this class are aligned with the Australian and UK early years curricula. They are also consistent with the preschool/ early years curricula for NZ, China, Korea and most European countries. This class utilises the Michigan Essential Literacy Practices Framework, and the Mathematics Learning Trajectories. 

1.  I can confidently explore and engage with social and physical environments through play. 
2.  I can discover and explore connections between myself, other people and places.
3. I show growing appreciation and care for natural environments through exploring my relationships with other living things and responding to change. 
4. I can apply a wide variety of thinking strategies to engage with situations and solve problems.
5. I can exchange ideas, feeling and understandings with others using language, art and mathematics. 

1. What is nature?
2. Is nature alive?
3. What makes your (nature) place special? What is beautiful about nature?
4. What do you think are the most important parts of nature? For whom? Why?
5. How does nature change?
6. What can I learn from nature? What can nature teach people? 
7. Would I change nature...or keep it the same? 

~ Scientific thinking involves observing or other ways of collecting evidence to understand the world.
~ Animals (and people), as well as plants, are adapted to a particular ecology.
~ Plants are living things that produce things for animals (and people) and other plants. 
~ Forces are โ€˜pushesโ€™ and โ€˜pullsโ€™ that make things move or stop or hold things up or squeeze things.
~ Things float or sink, depending on the material they are made of (not their weight).
~ Some people use the sense of sight to interpret our world. We use our ears to hear. Our skin is used to feel touch and textures.
~ Most things we see reflect light. Some objects (a light globe, the sun, a flame) reflect light. 
~ We see colours when some types of light are reflected off a surface.
~ Planet earth is covered with rocks, soil, water and ice. 
~ Rocks can be used as tools. 
~ Soil can be made up of animal and plant material, grains of rock, and water.

~ Counting.
~ Subitising.
~ Comparing number.
~ Adding/ subtracting.
~ Composing numbers.
~ Patterns, structure and algebraic thinking.
~ 2D shapes.
~ Composing 2D shapes.
~ Disembedding shapes.
~ 3D shapes.
~ Composing 3D shapes.
~ Spatial visualisation and imagery.
~ Spatial orientation. 
~ Measurement (length).
~ Measurement (area).
~ Measurement (angle and turn).

This class will provide a setting for children to develop and practice their vocabulary and speech relating to the content, concepts, and activities we are exploring. The words we will be using will include nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions and interjections. 

โ€‹Vocabulary (or knowledge of words) includes understanding their structure (morphology), use (grammar) and meanings (semantics). It also includes understanding how one word links to other words (word/semantic relationships). Oral and aural vocabulary skills (or, for non-speaking children, visual vocabulary skills) are absolutely crucial to later development of literacy decoding and reading comprehension and fluency. 

Because this is such an important skill gained in early childhood, I use a strong evidence-based and developmentally appropriate approach to vocabulary and speech development. This includes: 

๐—˜๐˜…๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐—ฉ๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐——๐—ถ๐˜€๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐˜€๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป
Explicit vocabulary discussion means that, in this class we not only use words, but we may also sometimes talk about them. We might discuss, for example:
~ what does this word mean?
~ what words would communicate what we want? 
~ what other words can we use for this?

While these discussions are explicit, they are not a discrete part of our classes or delivered as a "lesson". Instead, I weave these into the discussions I have with children through video chat in the classroom. I do not choose or have a "list" of specific words that children "must" learn. My approach is to respond to children's interests by offering explicit vocabulary discussion that is purposeful, and which helps each child engage with their goals, interests and motivations. This means that children are developing their vocabulary (and self-awareness of it) in a meaningful, relevant and active way. 

๐—˜๐˜…๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—–๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป
While it may seem "efficient" to get children to memorise, or rote learn, words - this approach has been shown to have no real value in speech/ language development generally, including vocabulary development. Rather, evidence confirms that the critical requirement for strong vocabulary and speech development is sufficient opportunity for children to engage in meaningful, two-way conversations that are interesting to them. 

To provide this for your child, I invite children to "chat" and "talk" with me and other learners using the video feature in this class, about the things that have captured their interest or that they are discovering. I then respond to these conversations and, where appropriate, will introduce new vocabulary, and also extend and stretch each child's confidence in using and understanding vocabulary in speech. 
I hold a Master of Teaching (Early Childhood) and have specialist skills in designing immersive education programs for very young children. I am a former member of Mensa.
A total of seven core activities will be posted in the classroom each week (+ 42 extension activities per week, making 196 in total). Learners can choose which activities they complete and can complete them any time during the week. Creations or responses can be posted in the classroom by Sunday evening of the same week if desired. 
The materials required for this class are fairly flexible. I have listed the recommended resources, but if you have difficulty accessing these, please contact me and I will be happy to recommend substitutes. โœซ Paper (for drawing, painting, collages, etc). โœซ Some coloured wax crayons โœซ Colour pencils โœซ String or yarn โœซ White/ Elmer's school glue โœซ A paint brush โœซ A collection of cardboard from recycled packaging (e.g. cereal boxes, cardboard tubes). โœซ Child-friendly scissors The remaining materials for this class will be collected from nature in your local area - and will depend on what you have available and the seasons. Examples of things you might find include sticks and twigs, leaves, feathers, shells, fur, bark, seed pods, rocks and pebbles. This means you will also need access to a garden, park or other natural area to complete the activities! Optional: โœซ Acrylic or poster paints โœซ Air dry clay (or can be substituted with home-made salt dough using plain flour, table salt, vegetable oil and water, with a recipe provided).
Learners will not need to use any apps or websites beyond the standard Outschool tools.
I do not use tests or other standardised approaches to assessing children's progress. In this age group, testing it is not developmentally appropriate and in some cases may be psychologically and academically harmful. 

However, as a teacher, I do believe it is important for me to be accountable to both children and parents. I aim to deliver classes that are not just "busy work" or entertainment, but which actively contribute to each child's learning in meaningful and sustainable ways. 

To do this, I use continuous observation of children's activity and conversation. When I make these observations, I am specifically considering the child's development in relation to the learning outcomes of the class (see above). 

I then routinely provide feedback to children. This may consist of: 
~ positive affirmation (e.g. "I really liked the way you communicated your idea with that painting");
~ positive reflection (e.g. "I wonder how you came up with that idea?"); and/ or
~ positive stretching (e.g. "I wonder if you could show that idea in other ways?). 

This is a wholistic approach to assessment. The child's response to my feedback helps me understand of "how far" they have traveled in their learning, and then "what comes next" in their learning. 

I welcome questions and inquiries from parents about their child's learning progress. 
No live meetings, and an estimated 2 - 4 hours per week outside of class.
As the activities in this class will need to be completed outside, appropriate supervision of younger children will be required.  
This class is inspired and informed by the following works:
โœซ Sand Talk (Dr. Tyson Yunkaporta)
โœซ 8-Ways Pedagogy (Dr. Tyson Yunkaporta)
โœซ The Comfort of Water (Maya Ward)
โœซ Cry of the Reed Warbler (Dr. Charles Massey)

Stories told by me in this class are authored by me, drawing from traditional folk tales


Alice Campbell
Lives in Australia
Play-Based Learning For All Children - In The Real Wonderland
186 total reviews
398 completed classes

About Me

Hello! My name is Alice. 

Through my independent teaching practice, ๐—œ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฅ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—น ๐—ช๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ, I help families from all over the world, who are searching for meaningful alternatives to high-pressure and standardised approaches to education, teaching...ย 
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