Education Outside Lesson Pathway

Education Outside’s Lesson Pathway is a curriculum framework that allows educators to plan a comprehensive and sequenced outdoor education program by selecting lessons that are nested into a larger, coherent structure. It is arranged by themes (Basics, Soil, Plants, Creatures, Ecology, Materials, and Food) that can then be organized into an academic schedule, building the key concepts of each theme over a K-5 educational experience.

The lessons, which are linked to the Science Content Standards for California Public Schools, are drawn from diverse sources and have been vetted for quality, relevance, and accuracy. The themes aim to span the depth and breadth of content necessary to produce environmentally aware, engaged, and successful students.
Search the Lesson Pathway
August

Basics – Fall

Rules and Tools, Senses Scavenger Hunt, Journaling, Garden Sketching, Mapping
September

Soil / Compost

Composition, SF Soils, Dissection, Compost Methods, Decomposers
October

Plants – Fall

Planting, Parts, Flowers, Germination, Seeds
November

Creatures

Bug Hunt, Snails, Slugs, Butterflies, Pollinators Need a Home…
December

Ecology A

Habitats, Food Chains & Ecosystems
January

Ecology B

Water, Energy, Geology, Local Ecology & Climate
February

Materials

Natural Building, Dyes, Pigments, Textiles from Plants, Recycled Craft…
March

Food

Cooking Lessons, Nutrition, Food Origins, Food Systems
April

Plants – Spring

Seed Saving, Planting, Natives…
May

Basics – Spring

Journals, Mapping, Garden Sketching, Brainstorming projects for garden

Special thanks to the following people for their contributions to the Lesson Pathway: project managers Emily Ritchie and Marie Sayles, Education Outside Corps member Kelly Nichols, and SFUSD garden coordinators Jean Butler, Casey Gold, Rebecca Gould, Claire Lagerwey, Amy Mack, Rusty McCall, Jonathan Silverman, and Lindsey Whited. Emily Ritchie created the illustrations.

The curriculum draws from a variety of sources, including Lawrence Hall of Science Full Option Science System (FOSS) and Outdoor Biology Instructional Strategies (OBIS), Life Lab, and San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Watershed Stewardship Curriculum.