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
Basics – Fall
Rules and Tools, Senses Scavenger Hunt, Journaling, Garden Sketching, Mapping
Soil / Compost
Composition, SF Soils, Dissection, Compost Methods, Decomposers
Plants – Fall
Planting, Parts, Flowers, Germination, Seeds
Bug Hunt, Snails, Slugs, Butterflies, Pollinators Need a Home…
Habitats, Food Chains & Ecosystems
Water, Energy, Geology, Local Ecology & Climate
Natural Building, Dyes, Pigments, Textiles from Plants, Recycled Craft…
Cooking Lessons, Nutrition, Food Origins, Food Systems
Plants – Spring
Seed Saving, Planting, Natives…
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.