It was an exciting time where children appeared to be absorbed in creating their maps, looking outdoors to check they were creating it correctly, and using the photographs they had taken on the camera. The children often linked their own personal thoughts to the objects they were drawing outside, and a wide range of language emerged. For example Henry was drawing the daffodils and discussed with is peer how he has lots in his garden, and he liked the smell. Ollie discussed with henry how he has also seen the daffodils in church and he will go to church over Easter. This started a whole other conversation on religious studies, which encouraged the children to talk and develop their thinking skills. Henry and Ollie went into deep discussion about what they were drawing outdoors, using advanced vocabulary and communication skills.
As highlighted by Punch all children benefit from extended opportunities to talk outside. Children’s motivation levels are high outdoors and there are lots of points of interests that will stimulate their communication skills. I have witnessed from this observation the impact the changing weather and seasons has on Henry and Ollie. The interactive nature of opportunities outdoors awakened henry and Ollie’s senses and inspired talk. The interaction between children as they talk provides the practitioner with further knowledge of how to extend their learning. Research by Low Deiner and Qiu, also highlighted that children whose primary language is not English are more likely to talk outside rath...
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...ing activity also provided opportunities for the pupils to learn how to write new words and to learn words how to communicate with each other such as shown in the table the communication used and the annotations on the map. Children can interact with their own environment and learn things they could never achieve indoors. The literature highlights the positive impact that the outdoor environment has on children’s language and communication development and academic achievement.
The results gained from the map-making observation showed that the outdoor area provided words that would necessarily arise in the outdoor environment, such as ‘Stepping Stones’ or ‘ balance’. A vibrant outdoor learning environment is important for children to develop their communication, language, thinking and social and emotional skills alongside developing independence of self-help skills.
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