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Green Schoolyards America


K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, English Language Arts, Visual and Performing Arts, Health

Resource Types

  • Ebooks, 184 pages
  • Lesson Plans
  • Activity - Outdoors
  • Projects
  • Experiments
  • Artwork

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Midwest, Wisconsin



International School Grounds Month Activity Guide

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  • This outdoor activity guide contains activities for students in grades K through 12 that demonstrate how school grounds can be used for meaningful and fun activities across curricula. 
  • This resource includes easy-to-implement activities for hands-on learning that will impact students, provide access to nature, and improve school grounds.
  • The Index at the back, starting on page 170, provides a list of contributing organizations and lists of activities by organization.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource details the importance of the green school grounds movement, which stresses in the importance of utilizing school grounds for learning and as community spaces.
  • Each activity is easy to implement and includes age-appropriate activities, directions, and materials for many subjects.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers should begin by reading the introductory information, which provides rationales for the movement, the importance of the guide, and other vital background information.
  • A list of activities by age group, organization, subject, or country of origin is provided in the Index, starting on page 176.
  • This can compliment the Living Schoolyard Activity Guide, which includes even more outdoor activities.


  • May is the month that the International School Grounds Alliance calls on schools to utilize their grounds for learning, so use one or more of these activities throughout the month of May and throughout the year.
  • Use the Contents on page 5 to sort the activities by subject, which includes art, play, health, social & emotional learning, agriculture and food, play based understanding, wildlife & habitat, watershed stewardship, energy & climate, thoughtful use of materials, and community engagement. 
  • The index on page 176 sorts the activities by keyword, which may be helpful if you want to include an activity that fits into a specific lesson or unit. 
  • Use the "Share Your Celebration!" information included on page 7 in order to promote the movement and increase involvement. 
Scientist Notes
In preparation to mark the International School Ground Month, this guide compiles over 100 activities for students to engage in on their school grounds to become environmental stewards and to lead in the environmental and climate movement. The activities are well-curated and enriched with content that will spur students' interest in building practical climate solutions in their communities. This guide is accurate, with a high level of confidence and is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
      • 4-ESS3-2 Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • K-2-ETS1-1 Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
      • HS-ETS1-2 Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • 2-LS2-1 Plan and conduct an investigation to determine if plants need sunlight and water to grow.
      • HS-LS2-7 Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.1.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.1.3 Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
  • National Core Arts Standards
    • Dance: Standard 6 - Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.
      • DA:Pr6.1.2a Dance for and with others in a space where audience and performers occupy different areas.
    • Music: Standard 1 - Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work
      • MU:Cr1.1.1a With limited guidance, create musical ideas (such as answering a musical question) for a specific purpose .
    • Visual Arts: Standard 1 - Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
      • VA:Cr1.1.1a Engage collaboratively in exploration and imaginative play with materials.
      • VA:Cr1.1.2a Brainstorm collaboratively multiple approaches to an art or design problem.
      • VA:Cr1.1.3a Elaborate on an imaginative idea.
    • Visual Arts: Standard 2 - Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
      • VA:Cr2.1.3a Create personally satisfying artwork using a variety of artistic processes and materials.
  • National Health Education Standards
    • Standard 5: Students will demonstrate the ability to use decision-making skills to enhance health.
      • 5.12.2 Determine the value of applying a thoughtful decision-making process in health-related situations.
    • Standard 8: Students will demonstrate the ability to advocate for personal, family, and community health.
      • 8.8.4 Identify ways in which health messages and communication techniques can be altered for different audiences.
      • 8.12.3 Work cooperatively as an advocate for improving personal, family, and community health.
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