Exploring English and Nature: A Creative Outdoor Language Activity in Arguello

Exploring English and Nature: A Creative Outdoor Language Activity in Arguello

by Cristina Sibona (with contributions from Gabriella Marengo, Barbara Boero, and Lorena Giacosa)

Istituto Comprensivo Murazzano-Bossolasco

Abstract

Highlights:

  • Engaging language and sensory activities in the picturesque outdoors.
  • Integration of the “Big Bench Community Project” into the learning experience.
  • Encouraging teamwork and inclusivity through interactive games.

In the picturesque town of Arguello, a group of 45 enthusiastic kids, ranging from 6 to 11 years old, embarked on an exciting journey to not only enhance their English language skills but also to foster a deeper connection with nature. This outdoor adventure, led by teacher Cristina Sibona and supported by her colleagues Gabriella Marengo, Barbara Boero and Lorena Giacosa, unfolded along the enchanting “Cuckoo Trail” within the heart of Arguello’s lush woods.

The day began with some energetic warm-up exercises to prepare the young explorers for the upcoming nature-filled activities. As the group made its way along the asphalted communal road and ventured into the trail, the sense of anticipation and excitement filled the air.

Once in the heart of the woods, Teacher Sibona introduced a playful twist to language learning by incorporating a beloved character, Mr. Green, a friendly soft-toy gardener familiar to the children. The goal was not only to enhance language skills but also to engage the kids in a sensory exploration of the environment. Using the five senses and the English language, students were encouraged to observe, touch, listen, smell and even taste the wonders of the woods.

The interactive learning experience continued as each student was assigned a specific sense – hearing, smell, sight, taste, or touch. With the guidance of Mr. Green, the children matched flashcards depicting various elements of the forest to the corresponding sense. This hands-on approach not only reinforced language skills but also promoted teamwork and collaboration among the students.

 

As the journey progressed, the group found a peaceful spot in the wooded area, creating an ideal setting for the next activity. Here, the students were divided into groups by class, and with the assistance of their “sense companions,” they took¬† on a crossword puzzle challenge. The highlighted words in the puzzle formed the phrase “THE LIGHT GREEN BIG BENCH,” directing attention to a significant landmark at Arguello’s entrance. This bench, part of the Big Bench Community Project, holds cultural significance, adding a layer of local connection to the learning experience.

Throughout the trail, the children remained immersed in the natural surroundings, paying attention to the sounds, smells and textures present in the woods. The adventure also included stops at panels created by students from previous class years, adding a touch of history to the journey and highlighting the unique role of the cuckoo bird in Arguello’s springtime ambiance.

 

Reaching the giant bench marked a moment of celebration and reflection. A group shot served as a cherished memory and a snack break allowed the young explorers to refuel before the return journey. Along the way, the group came across some friendly farm animals, adding an unexpected but delightful element to the day.

Basically, this outdoor language activity not only served as a platform to enhance English language skills but also emphasized the acquisition of naturalistic intelligence. The integration of sensory experiences, exploration of the natural environment, and connection to local landmarks carried out a holistic approach to education. The Arguello trail, with its blend of language, nature and community, provided a rich learning experience for the children and resonated with professionals, educators and nature enthusiasts alike. It stands as a testament to the power of hands-on, immersive learning in fostering a love for language and an appreciation for the world around us.

Related Posts