If you get a chance, take your students outside.
You obviously can’t do this everyday, but one a month or more frequently, take the class outside for the lesson.
I like my Lewis and Clark lesson, because we get to pretend we are the Corps of Discovery, exploring the strange land that is our school.
Students need to know that learning doesn’t always take place on the classroom. Even the most apathetic student will perk up when tell them that the lesson will be outdoors. It provides a nice change of pace for the kids.
You may want to avoid actually conducting class outside, because you may run into distractions like passing cars or airplanes, but if you can find a nice quiet place where you can be heard, then go for it.
I like giving my students a task, and letting them go, as in the Lewis and Clark activity. I do need to set down some initial guidelines, however.
You need to set these guidelines for the activity before you take them out. Don’t try to give them any kind of important instructions after you get outside. You probably won’t get a lot of students paying attention to you.
I make sure I have the following rules understood before we leave:
1. Do not go into any other classrooms.
2. Do not in any way disturb another classroom, like looking into a window and saying hi to friends.
3. You must meet me here at this time. I give them a specific location and time to meet.
4. Bring your notebook and a writing utensil.
5. Go with a partner or group.
I try not to keep them outside for more than 20-25 minutes.
A lot of this depends on the age of your students and the size of your school, along with its location. You may want to modify this if your school is in the middle of a big city.
Give it a try. Your kids will love it.