“Experiential learning takes place when a person involved in an activity looks back and evaluates it,determines what was useful or important to remember,and uses this information to perform another activity.” John Dewey
The “learn-by-doing” approach allows youth to experiencesomething with minimal guidance from an adult. Instead ofbeing told “the answers,” they are presented with a question,problem, situation, it is based on learning from experiences.or activity which they must make sense of for themselves.Learning by doing is called “experiential learning” becausethe students are involved with constructing their own learningthrough experiencing the process in their individualframework for learning Life Skills
Life Skill Advantages for Outdoor Experiential Learning. Increased use of multiple senses (sight, sound, etc.) can1.increase retention on what is learned.2. Multiple teaching/learning methods can be integrated tomaximize creativity and flexibility.3. Focuses on learning more from view of the 4-H member,less from the adult’s perspective.4. Process of “discovery” of knowledge and solutions buildsself- esteem.5. Learning is more fun for members, teaching more fun forleaders.6. If youth are actively engaged in learning, they havemore stake in the outcome of what they learn and are lesslikely to become discipline problems.7. Other life skills can be learned, instead of merely subjectmatter content.
These life skills have been subdivided into the following fivecategories:.Enhance Learning Skills, such as capitalizing on curiosity,coping with change, identifying sources of knowledge,developing psychomotor skills (strength and endurance,coordination, and precision).Strengthen and Use Decision Making Skills, such asassessing needs and interests using resources (time, energy,talents, and money) wisely, establishing goals and prioritiesDevelop a Positive Self-Concept. Self-concept is anemerging belief about oneself that contributes to one’sability to cope successfully with issues in one’s life, andeventually making a positive impact on the lives of others.
Communicate With and Relate to Other People. Developcommunication skills that enhance the ability to understandand respect what was said with the openness to developanother point of view. This includes: verbal and non-verbalcommunication, record-keeping practice, social skills such astact/diplomacy, making friends, negotiation, and conflictmanagement.Respond to the Needs of Others and the Community inwhich they live, to become aware of the concerns of thepeople who live there, and take appropriate action. Thisincludes: nurturing others in a manner that respects theirvalues and concerns, accepting responsibilities for individualand group goals within the family, club and communitysetting; and citizenship participation responsibilities.
Action Step: Attention on the Learner Experiencing: Key Concept - Planning for discovery 1 Key Phrases for leader:EXPERIENCE • “Sit on your Hands,” the activity; perform, do it • observe • facilitate to the “bigger picture.” Do Key Objectives are discovery oriented: • to explore • to examine • to constructApply Reflect • to arrange
Personal and Group Reflection Steps 2Sharing: Key concept - Responding Do SHAREKey question - “What happened?” the results, reactions, and observationsProcessing: Key concept - Analyzing publiclyPatterns Apply ReflectKey question - “What’s important?” 3 PROCESS by discussing, locking at the experience;Leader’s role: analyze, reflect • allow adequate process time to include sharing • use open-ended questioning to stimulate thinking and feeling • encourage “pair-share” and large group share
Connection and Application Step 5 Generalizing: Key concept - inference APPLY Dowhat was learned Key question - “So what?” to a similar ordifferent situation; Leader’s role: to guide youth in making practice connections between personal inner Apply Reflect meaning of the activity and the broader 4 world. GENERALIZE to connect the experience to real world Applying: Key concept - application examples Key question - “Now what?” Leader’s role: to facilitate youth finding ways to use what they have learned in new situations.
Experiential Learning Model 1 Experience the activity; Perform, “Do it”5 Apply Share 2 what was learned the results, to a similar or Do reactions, and different situation; observations Practice Publicly “Now What” “What happened” Apply Reflect 4 3 Generalize to connect the Process experience to by discussing, real world analyzing, reflecting Examples “What’s important” “So What”
Questions Within Questions: Open-ended Spirals Share the results, reactions, and observations Publicly “What happened” What did you do? How did you feel? What did you notice? What was most difficult? Easiest?
Questions Within Questions: Open-ended Spirals Process by discussing, analyzing, reflecting “What’s important”What are some important things you learned about______? What problems or issues seemed to occur over and over? Why did that happen? What if you had_______? If you could do it again, what would you do differently?
Questions Within Questions: Open-ended Spirals Apply what was learned to a similar or different situation; Practice “Now What” What will you do next time you run into a similar situation?How can you use what you have learned in a similar situation? What will you do differently next time?
The Experiential Learning ModelThreads Through… Many skills in one activity Or In a short series of activities
We will now look at some ideas that can be used foroutdoor experiential learning. Each of these processescan be expanded upon or applied to different subjectarea. The main goal of this guide is the create aframework for heading outdoors without having tochange our current curriculum.
Activity Background: Some products we buy take years to decompose. This means we use our land for landfills and pollute our environment. There are many ways to cut down on the amount of garbage weSubject Matter Objectives throw away each day In general, everyoneYouth will learn a basic should follow the rule of the 3 R’s: Reduce,understanding of how thegarbage they produce has Reuse and Recycle. Reduce the amount ofan impact on the garbage you produce by purchasingenvironment. The basics of products with little packaging. Buy itemsthe 3R’s - Reduce, Reuse that you can Reuse many times, such asand Recycle. How they can sponges, rechargeable batteries, and clothmake a difference by napkins. Recycle food scraps by creating areducing the amount of compost pile, and find other ways togarbage going into recycle other items instead of throwinglandfills. Life Skills Taught them away. By gaining an aware- ness ofYouth will: EnhanceLearning Skills Strengthen ways in which we can reduce the amountand Use Decision Making of trash we produce, we can lessen theSkills Respond to the impact that we have on the environment.Needs of Others and theCommunity
3. Process (What’s important?) Did some products have more packaging than necessary? Was all the packaging recyclable or biodegradable? Do any use harmful materials that should not be disposed? Do you realize that1, . Experience (Doing) decisions you make affect others and the environment? Making a difference can be doneTake a trip to the grocery store and one person, one family, one house at a time!observe the different ways in which 4. Generalize (So what?)items are packaged. Note whichitems have the most and the least Ask the group if there are ways to cut back onpackaging, and which items have the amount of packaging. What could they dopackaging that is more easily differently in their own families’ buying habits?recycled. Keep track of items used In what way would they change what they buy?by their own families. 5. Apply (Now what?)2. Share (What happened?) Discuss steps that a family could take to change the way in which they purchase things in orderHave members explain what theynoticed while looking at pack- to have less of a negative impact on theaging of products. environment. As a follow-up activity, have members keep a record of what items their families purchased during the next big shopping trip. Measure how much garbage was produced by their families for one week.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. What otherCompare the differences could theydifference in the make in their lives byamount of thinking of similar,garbage thrown simple improvementsaway before and they could accomplish?after taking stepsto follow the 3R’s -
The Next section will show how anentire unit can be used in outdoorexperiential learning.Since Cheyenne Mountain High schoolhas shown such a strong interest inenvironmental issues, we will focusour first unit on Environmental Studies These lessons can be tied into manyareas of our current sciencecurriculum, tied into volunteer hoursfor STAH, viable for Eagle Scoutprojects, and even the possibleconnection to Science Olympiad.
There are many possibilities for inclusion of this unit into our presentcurriculum, especially lesson one which deals with individuals heading out fortheir own exploratory learning. Since Cheyenne Mountain High is directlyinvolved with Friends of the Canyon, and trail maintenance in the Stratton OpenSpace, this unit seemed perfect for use in our science curriculum, ethics courses,along with creating a perfecting opportunity for work with STAH in a volunteerhours method. Study of soil layers would be a natural fit into this unit. Anatural inclusion would be the recycling program at CMHS.
Group Equipment Personal Equipment • Pencils and notebooks for participants •Day pack• Trowel (1 per group) • Personal hygiene bag (nylon stuff sack)• Modeling clay • Change of clothes• Regular and large resealable bags• Scoop of kitty • Rain gear litter in small paper lunch bag • Hat• 5- to 8-centimeter (2- to 3-inch) food strainers • Sunscreen(1 per cooking group) • Sunglasses• Rolls of cheesecloth (1 per cooking group) • Bug repellent• Pot sets (1 per cooking group) • Personal first aid kit and prescribed medications• Stoves (1 per cooking group) • Utensils, mug, and plate or bowl (non-breakable• Toilet paper, single ply (1 roll per group) and suitable for the outdoors)• Hand sanitizer (1 dispenser per group) • Personal water bottle• Expedition-sized tent (1 for demonstration)• Tarps and ropes for shelter building (1 set per shelter group)• Tents (1 per group)• Nylon bag for soil collection• Hubcaps (1 per fire group)• Food lines and carabineer (1 set per cooking group)• Food bag, garbage bags, plastic grocery bags, and compost bags for each group
Lesson 1: Connecting to the Natural World. The activities for this lesson are commonly referred to as earth education. The value of this lesson is to create awareness for participants, allowing them to understand the fragility and beauty of the natural world. The purpose is reconnecting to nature and establishing a commitment to preserve and protect the environment.Lesson 2: Trail Impact. This lesson introduces participants to soil and the impact that people can have in fragile places. Participants will connect soil layers to the causes of trail erosion and creation of social trails.Lesson 3: Campsite Selection. The focus of this lesson is selecting a site as part of the core camping skill set. Participants will balance the group size and the carrying capacity of a specific environment. Furthermore, participants will identify differences between pristine locations and sensitive environments versus established sites.Lesson 4 : Human Waste Management . Human waste management is a challenging lesson. This topic requires group maturity and open-mindedness. Participants will learn how to select and dig proper cat holes and latrines or recognize kybos (trail toilets). Another focus for this lesson is activities that deal with personal hygiene.Lesson 5: Cleaning Dishes in the Backcountry. This lesson is an extension of hygiene as it applies to kitchen practices, specifically cleaning dishes, pots, and leftovers. Participants will engage in activities that allow them to deal with gray water, discerning between sump holes and scattering, broadcasting water, and handling food scraps.Lesson 6: Campfires. The campfire is the best part of outdoor excursions for many people. However, if not practiced properly, campfires can have a devastating impact in some environments. Participants will learn how to practice fire-building techniques that are sensitive to the conditions of specific locations. The activities for this lesson will focus on mound fires, hub fires, or using existing fire rings. A commonly overlooked skill is how to best gather fuel to avoid depletion.Lesson 7: Environmental In-Camp Practices. The final lesson engages participants in the best backcountry washing practices, including brushing teeth. This lesson will also include activities that allow participants to practice prepping for a trip that takes packaging into consideration. As well, participants will set their own food line and know the ethical value of this essential skill.
• broadcasting—Using a spoon or ladle to flick small amounts of gray water over a large area well away from camp.• campsite selection—Choice of area that is durable enough to support camping activities for the number in a group.• carrying capacity—The ability of an area to serve as a campsite for a group of people; the maximum number that an ecosystem can support.• cathole—A small hole dug into the organic layer allowing for human feces.• cheesecloth—A coarse filter used for straining liquid.• compost bag—A biodegradable plastic bag used to hold food scraps; can be composted when participants return home.• ecological attitudes—Personal view and values regarding the environment.• ecosystem—The abiotic and biotic components of the environment in a given area.• ecotone—A transitional area between two or more diverse communities, such as a forest and grassland. The ecotonal community commonly contains many organisms of the over- lapping communities, as well as organisms that are characteristic of and often restricted to the ecotoneerosion—The process of wearing away and dispersing rock and soil particles over time.• fire pan—A durable, reusable container that can hold and withstand a small fire, such as a hubcap.• fire rings—Scorched and blackened ring or rocks in a circle marking a fire pit.• food line—Rope system used to haul food off the ground, preventing animal attraction• gray water—Water used to clean dishes.
• kybos—Small wooden boxes that have a toilet seat; found along portages and heavily used trails to serve as a toilets.• latrine—A group location for human waste.• microtrash—Small pieces of waste packaging that fall to the ground and become overlooked during cleanup.• ponding—Areas along a trail that are widened from improper hiking or erosion where water pools after heavy rains, forming temporary ponds.• soil compaction—When the litter layer is trampled so that it is no longer loosely packed but is compressed and hard.• soil profiles—Soil consists of layers. Duff (litter) is organic material natural to the area, such as leaves, plants, twigs, and sticks, that decomposes into the organic layer; A horizon is finely reduced organic material; B horizon is mineral soil thoroughly mixed with organic material; and C horizon is unmodified parent material.• sump—A cathole for strained gray water.• switchbacks—A trail designed to loop or zigzag up steep sections of a hill versus a straight trail up or down a hill.• trail system—Existing or established trails used for hiking.• trail widening—Areas along a trail where hikers repeatedly stepped off the main trail, widening it.• trampling—Evidence of vegetation affected by human interaction; a trail beaten through a grassy area.• vegetation—Natural plant growth of an area.• waste management—Practices to deal with the generation of human waste in outdoor settings.
Learning Objectives • To develop senses in natural settings: listening, smelling, feeling, and seeing• To form a personal ecological connection to the natural world Activity 1: Silent Hike During the hike, stress the importance of silence and listening to inner thoughts along with the sounds of the natural world. The goal of this activity is to begin using other senses, which is better realized when not engaged in distracting conversations.Skill Cues • Maintain absolute silence during the hike.• Make observations during the hike:− Look for something that sparks your curiosity.− Try to smell new or familiar smells.− Look for signs of humanity.− Listen for something natural.− Touch something gently as you pass.− Look for something you know well.− Look for an amazing color.− Try to feel differences in air movement, temperature, scent, and so on. Teaching Cues • Select an established trail system and plan a hike duration that will be long enough to accomplish the observation list.• Respectfully position the importance of absolute silence during the hike.• You may need to strategically place yourself in the hiking formation to act as a reminder for silence.• The pace needs to be slow enough to give participants time to allow their senses to become attuned to the natural world. A responsible participant may need to lead the group at this pace. • When you arrive at the designated area, allow the group to settle before breaking the silence. You may need to gesture the sign of silence.• Process the experience by eliciting participant responses about what they observed during the hike.• Be prepared to probe participant responses for fuller explanations.
Activity 2: Solo Watch The solo watch gives participants personal time in the natural world. Most outdoor engagements are social affairs; solo time in the outdoors is often an uncommon experience. This activity allows participants to reconnect to nature on a personal level and to help develop their understanding of a particular place. Skill Cues • Within the designated area, participants find a place to sit for an extended time within sight of a designated meeting area.• During their solo watch, they focus on one particular sense that resonates with their sitting place. Try to extend and connect this observation from the silent hike.• Participants draw or write their observations in a field notebook to try to capture their experience. Teaching Cues • Remind participants of safety concerns and the need to stay within the designated boundary.• Remind participants of any environmental hazards.• Give participants whistles.• Remind participants of the emergency signal.• Demonstrate the signal, not using the whistle that will be used when requesting the participants to return to the designated meeting area.• You may need to provide an example of what you expect of their writings or drawings.• Learning to sit and reflect is a practiced behavior. You may have to judge the appropriate length of time based on the participants’ maturity.• When the participants return to the designated meeting area, have them share their observations via a nature gallery.• Be prepared to further the discussion by linking ecological attitudes and thoughts to support participant observations.
Learning Objectives • To learn proper hiking techniques based on LNT practicesActivity 1: Trail Erosion Many trails are experiencing degrees of erosion. In a location that offers various trails, design a short hike for participants to identify signs of erosion and human impact. This is an opportunity for participants to practice sound hiking practices. Key features would be washouts, mud holes, rocky stretches, and exposed tree roots (figure 3.1a).Skill Cues • Identify worn places along the trails.• Identify material piles—places where soil is piled due to runoff.• Identify examples of ponding.• Identify areas along the trail that have become widened.• Identify path cuts caused by hikers taking shortcuts. This is a common form of impact along switchbacks. Teaching CuesThis activity is an opportunity to demonstrate and practice proper hiking techniques—single-file lines and staying to the designated trail. As the participants identify each feature, provide the reasoning for the impact based on human interaction with the local environment and suggest prevention methods.• Worn places may be due to groups congregating in a particular area for extended rest or water breaks, dropping packs at the side of the trail, sitting in vegetated areas, and trampling and breaking the undergrowth. Encourage participants to stay on the trail or take breaks in durable areas.• Trail areas along steep grades may have material piles caused by water from spring runoff or heavy rains. If the ground is unable to absorb the water due to soil compaction from previous use, the result is a temporary ground stream that washes loose soil material and deposits it at a low point.• Ponding is the result of water runoff collecting in a low point on a trail. Don’t skirt to the side to avoid the mud—the result will be a widening trail. Encourage your group to use gaiters and lightweight hikers. If possible, have sandals for these sections of the trail. This requires you to know the area and trail conditions during the varying seasons.• Hikers traveling side by side cause trail widening. Encourage single-file travel and passage around obstructions that can cause groups to become bottlenecked, resulting in a large number of people trampling a small area as they wait their turn to go around windfall or rocks.• Discourage shortcuts, especially on switchback trails (looping or zigzagging trails) (figure 3.1b). Switchbacks tend to be in steep areas, and shortcuts intersect the gradual trail along the steepest section of the landscape. When these areas become compacted, the soil will easily erode away. Without intervention, it will be challenging for nature to recover from this level of impactRisk Management• Be aware of the trail quality and instruct the group to keep together during the lesson.• All participants should be aware of the trail conditions and should not stray into identified hazard areas.
Activity 2: Understanding Soil Layers During the short hike, bring the group to an area where the soil layers are exposed. This will allow participants to easily identify how the ground beneath their feet is layered (see figure 3.2). Such knowledge will help participants better understand how trail impact occurs, reinforcing the need to practice proper trail techniques. All areas have a unique soil signature. It is your responsibility as outdoor leader to understand the soil characteristics of the area and how this area is able to rebound through natural regenerative processes.Skill Cues With a blank copy of the soil-profile diagram (figure 3.3), participants examine the exposed soil layers and write the characteristics that they are able to observe. This activity will allow participants to identify the layers of soil that compose a profile and how each layer is important to the natural environment.Teaching Cues• The duff layer is organic material natural to the area. This is the material that decomposes. As it breaks down, it becomes a sticky brown material, humus, that weakly cements soil particles together and can resist rain and compaction within limits.• The A horizon is a more finely reduced organic material.• The organic layers and A horizon are normally able to absorb quantities of water from runoff, preventing drastic effects of erosion.• The B horizon is mineral soil thoroughly mixed with organic material.• The C horizon is unmodified parent material and perhaps the original material of the place or was deposited there by gravity, water runoff, or glaciers.• The final layer is bedrock.• On average it can take up to 200 years to form 1 centimeter (.4 inch) of soil. This is an exceedingly slow rate of renewal, which indicates the challenge of trying to restore damaged areas naturally.
Learning Objectives • To build a variety of low-impact firesRisk Management • Provide each fire group with a hubcap or fire pan. This helps keep fires small and manageable.• Teach in a wooded area close to a water supply.• Remind participants to abide by safe practices as they work around the fire zone and to not cross over or walk through a designated fire zone for any reason.• Advise the local department of natural resources of your plan, abide by all fire regulations for your area, and obtain permits if necessary. Activity 1: Mound Fire A mound fire is a simple way to construct an ethical fire with little effort, provided that the needed materials are at hand. A mound fire is a pile of mineral soil that separates the heat from a fire pan from the ground, preventing unsightly scarring (figure 3.10).Skill Cues • Have the participants lay out a groundsheet larger than the intended fire-pan area to catch embers.• The group is responsible for gathering sandy, rocky material and mineral soil in a large stuff sack. The collected material can be mounded on top of the groundsheet.• The mineral soil needs to be at least 10 centimeters (4 inches) thick.• Participants gather fuel for the fire.• Place the hubcap on the mound and make a twiggy fire. Teaching Cues The following points apply to all fire types and will not be repeated: • A suggestion to efficiently model and practice this lesson is to break the participants into groups, each with the responsibility for one of the fire types.• Groups can then present their fire type and ethical considerations.• Gathering fuel should take ethics into consideration. To avoid depleting the fuel source (branches, twigs, and downed sticks) around the fire zone, have participants walk out from the fire site and gather fuel that is small enough to break by hand. A simple guide would be wood sized from pinky to thumb, appropriate for building a twiggy fire.• Smaller pieces will burn more efficiently.• Do not gather wood from standing trees.• Collect only what is required for maintaining a small fire for the night.• Keep fires contained within the hubcap.• At the end of the fire session, make sure the fire is completely out. Use water and scatter the ash and cold coals over a large area far from the fire zone.• Have the group dismantle the mound of mineral soil, returning the material to its original location.• Fluff the area around the fire zone, restoring a more natural look versus a trampled area.
Activity 2: Fire Ring A fire ring is an example of an established campsite (figure 3.11). Skill Cues • Clean out any signs of garbage that may not have combusted during a previous fire.• Keep the fire inside the existing ring.• At the end of the lesson, participants put out the fire using water and stirring the coals until all are cold to the touch. Teaching Cues• Refer to the teaching cues for activity 1.• If your camping location has an existing fire ring, use it instead of creating another fire zone. However, always carry a fire pan or hubcap just in case!• If your campsite has more than one fire ring, dismantle the others, hiding the evidence and restoring the area to a more natural look. Choose the existing ring based on the durability of the area.• Remind participants of the importance of put- ting out all fires regardless of type and location.
5 blue bouncy balls 4 red bouncy balls 1 green bouncy ball A basket or bucket GAME FACE!
Mix all 10 of the bouncy balls in the basket Blindly reach into said basket and pull out one ball If a blue ball is picked, you lose If a red ball is picked, you get to try again If a green ball is picked, YOU WIN If a red ball is picked, you have only one chance to pull a green ball. If a red or blue ball is picked, you lose. After each ball is picked, put it back in the basket.
The goal is to pick a green ball on the first try and not pick a blue ball.
5/10 = 0.50 chance of losing immediately 4/10 = 0.40 chance of picking again 1/10 = 0.10 chance of winning immediatelyThe possible outcomes are….B(L), RR(L), RB(L), RG(W), G(W)
:D Probability Win or LoseBlue 0.50 0.00Red 0.40 0.01Green 0.10 1.00
The probability of getting to the end of the game on the first try is P(.20X.25X.25X.25X.25X.25)=.00195% chance. Refer back to slide one for variable probability of each specific move.
Draw two 5X5 squares and divide the class into two even teams Put the two teams in front of the squares at the starting locations Let the first person in line move until they incorrectly guess a square Let one team attempt until incorrect then the other team and first team to go through the entire square first wins Group members cannot communicate verbally with each other
We chose this game in order to help students work cooperatively to sharpen memory skills and reasoning abilities. Increase leadership abilities. Apart from remembering which square was correct or incorrect, applying probability reasoning to find the correct route. Increased problem solving skills.