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Nature is a Classroom: Activities and skills in Nature for
Students, Teachers, and other Extraordinary People

Course Summary

This course is intended for anyone who wants to spend more time in nature. Be it with their
students or by themselves. It will not focus on just one topic but offer a plethora of activities that
can be done in nature, ranging from games to learning.
The digital age changed our students habits and the way we teach them. Screens are an everyday occurrence for all of us, and we keep neglecting our roots and gazing away from greener pastures (puns very much intended).
This course will present a variety of activities, a smorgasbord you might say, that can take place
in nature. Some of them will have practical application, like orientation, survival, and pioneering
skills. Some will be intended for your personal wellbeing, syphoning our daily pressure, and using
nature to get in touch with ourselves. Others will use nature as a stage, a focal point for our
storytelling, be it imaginary or historical.

Dates
Duration
Location
Confirmed
Registration
22/07 - 26/07/2024
5 days
Zagreb, Croatia
pre-confirmed
REGISTER HERE
12/08 - 16/08/2024
5 days
Zagreb, Croatia
pre-confirmed
REGISTER HERE
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Course Detailed Description

The idea of this course is to bring people, both big and small, into nature, and motivate them to
spend more time in it and use it for teaching and exercise. Almost all activities will take place
outside in forested areas. The great majority of these activities will provide attendees with
practical skill they can apply in their life and further teach others.
Orientation skills, tying knots, making a shelter, all of these will be shown and applied in several
forest locations. Medieval forts and historical monuments will be visited, and their setting used as
background for storytelling and teaching history.
Solitary viewpoints will provide the calming environment for simple yoga exercises and calming
meditation. Wonderful green clearings will become playgrounds for exciting, competitive games.
Since visiting nature often depends on the benevolence of weather, indoor activities will not be
neglected. Simple dexterity and quick-thinking games that can be used in the classroom will be
presented.
Hiking in nature will be an integral element of the course so some level of physical wellbeing is
required of attendees. The trail difficulty will mostly be low with one medium level walk. Neither
walk should take more that 30-45 minutes between breaks. Comfortable clothing and footwear is
advised.

COURSE SCHEDULE (Day by day):

Day 1

  • Introduction 

  • Course outline 

  • Ice-breaking activities

  • Introduction of the participants, their goals for the class and their
    challenges, school presentations 

  • Classroom activities for rainy days

  • Simple, fun indoor games

Day 2

  • Reading maps

  • Instructions on how to use printed maps

  • Orientation in nature

  • Using a compass and our surroundings

  • Map and compass lead walking tour

  • Putting our new skills into practice

Day 3

  • Field trip to Jelengrad

  • Orientation in the woods

  • History and culture in nature

  • Knots

  • Survival skills

  • Nature apps


Day 4

  • Field trip to Garić-grad

  • Legends and storytelling, Mindfulness

  • Visit to Podgarić

  • Monuments and history


Day 5

  • Field trip to Sljeme

  • Outdoor activities, Games

  • Guided tour of Zagreb


Day 6 

  • Final activities – Presentation of participant ideas on integrating learned
    activities into their curriculum

  • Course evaluation

  • Certificate awarding 

  • Excursion and other external cultural activities

Note: The program will be dynamic and interactive. The schedule may change based on the issues posed by the participants and the real resolution processes in which we engage. Excursion plans for any given course may also affect the agenda.

Course outcomes

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Read maps and use a compass for orientation

  • Perform simple yoga and meditation exercises

  • Use nature and surroundings for teaching

  • Create a shelter and useful tools

  • Communicate in English using pioneering vocabulary

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