Teach Outside
Resources and inspiration for current and aspiring outdoor educators and those interested in a natural learning environment.




Barefoot Books

by Various Authors

Reading story books outdoors with the children is a wonderful experience. Barefoot Books offer a wide variety of them, all beautifully printed and illustrated.

Best Hikes with Kids

by Various Authors

With a variety of hikes around the United States, these guidebooks help people get out into nature with their children. From Mountaineers Books.

California Natural History Guides

by Various Authors

These books by the University of California Press are gems as references to California's natural history!

“The Challenge of Transplanting the European Forest Kindergarten to North America”

by Regina Wolf Fritz

Fritz and Sobel use text and charts to eloquently describe various methods and attitudes toward forest school teaching and learning. I have come to teach in the European style simply through experience, so this chapter is most welcome. in Nature Preschools and Forest Kindergartens: The Handbook for Outdoor Learning, edited by David Sobel.

Childhood and Nature: Design Principles for Educators

by David Sobel

Sobel argues that meaningful connections with the natural world begin in our own backyards and communities. Based on his observations of play themes around the world, he details seven design principles that can guide teachers in structuring learning experiences for children. 

Cottage Economy

by William Cobbett

Back to basics, this is a scan of a very old book that has some interesting points of view and lost wisdom within, and includes such diverse information on making bread and keeping cows.

The Curious Garden

by Peter Brown

This children's book inspires small and sneaky deeds that build beauty and community.

Farm City: The Education of an Urban Farmer

by Novella Carpenter

"For anyone who has ever grown herbs on their windowsill, tomatoes on their fire escape, or obsessed over the offerings at the local farmers’ market, Carpenter’s story will capture your heart... It is also a moving meditation on urban life versus the natural world and what we have given up to live the way we do."

Free to Learn: Why Unleashing the Instinct to Play Will Make Our Children Happier, More Self-Reliant, and Better Students for Life

By Peter Gray

Massively inspirational book containing ideas big and small- those that educators and parents can implement the very next times they interact with children and those that will sit in the back of the brain, fermenting and guiding one over a lifetime. Gray provides a hearty bibliography for further study. I appreciate the biological and anthropological backgrounds provided as evidence for promoting play, freedom, and democracy in children's lives.

Golden Nature Guides

by Various Authors

These books by Golden Press are gems as references to America's natural history!

Handbook of Nature-Study

by Anna Botsford Comstock

The historic basis for being prepared for myriad lessons and suits the needs of the group at any moment in the out-of-doors.

Or more formally at the following site, with more easily searchable subjects but lacking the essential teaching methods outlined in the beginning of the book as accessed at the site above.

Last Child in the Woods

by Richard Louv

This journalist has spawned the outdoor reconnection revolution. Essential reading.

Moving the Classroom Outdoors: Schoolyard-Enhanced Learning in Action

by Herbet W. Broda

Since Herb Broda published Schoolyard-Enhanced Learning, his groundbreaking first book on outdoor learning, many schools across North America have embraced the benefits of "greening" their learning programs. Herb has visited dozens of these schools and nature centers, and he showcases the very best examples of schoolyard-enhanced learning in action in this book, complete with photos of a wide variety of outdoor learning environments.

Natural Learning: Creating Environments for Rediscovering Nature’s Way of Teaching

by Robin C. Moore and Herb H. Wong

This is the classic sourcebook for how to transform an asphalt playground into a rich, relevant, and natural place for learning. This is the life history of Washington Elementary School’s environmental schoolyard in Berkeley and the concepts here can be applied to backyards, city parks, schoolyards and more.

Nature Education with Young Children: Integrating Inquiry and Practice

by Daniel R. Meier and Stephanie Sisk-Hilton, eds.

In this edited book experienced early childhood educators offer practical insights and advice for pre- and in-service educators and the interested public in exploring nature with young children. Chapters cover ages from infant to preschooler.

Smart by Nature: Schooling for Sustainability

by Michael K. Stone

This book presents a vision for education which is deeply rooted in the ideas that, "The best hope for learning to live sustainably lies in schooling returning to the real basics, experiencing the natural world, understanding how nature sustains life, nurturing healthy communities, recognizing the consequences of how we feed ourselves and provision our institutions; knowing well the places where we live, work and learn."

The Story of My Boyhood and Youth

by John Muir

What better way to learn the ways of the naturalist than an autobiography from one of our dearest? A wonderful lesson in the histories of education and America at that.

Teaching Science in an Outdoor Environment: Handbook for Students, Parents, Teachers, & Camp Leaders

by Phyllis Gross and Esther P. Railton

The snippets contained herein are exactly what I've come to discover as the best ways of teaching outdoors! Here is the reference that could save a lot of time, headache, and heartache!

Up from Slavery

by Booker T. Washington

A great work on overcoming adversity, cited here for his views on education and starting and funding schools.

the Urban Homestead

by Kelly Coyne and Erik Knutzen

A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. A must-have reference, with ideas aplenty for all interests and skill levels. Tons of practical advice.