Finding Classroom Inspiration in your own Back Yard


Inspiration. We look for it everywhere or it finds us in amazing ways. As educators we are always looking for inspiration to trigger that moment where we turn one ordinary lesson into something extraordinary. As someone always trying to create something for my teachers and students I can find inspiration almost anywhere but sadly there are days where something can destroy your inspiration or you just can’t find it. If you read one of my previous posts, I was hit with a major uninspired days two weeks ago and my nieces ended up inspiring me during a routine visit. This past weekend alone, I found so much inspiration and I didn’t have to go further than my own backyard. Take this picture of the sun setting over my sunflowers in my backyard. Pretty breath taking even if I didn’t use Instagram to add some filters but think about. Many classes are using Instagram these days, you can have students do a “Beauty around you” pictures. I have several I took after putting in 5 long hours of yard work and garage cleaning. I came up with over a dozen lessons right there. Take a snap shot of my before and after a corner of my garage. Have students mark down what changed in both pictures, what is better, what is worse. How would they have done it. Great instruction and lessons right there.

I’m working on an Empathy Stick Around Puzzle this week about a picture of my backyard after mowing and the border with a neighbor before they mowed the yard. What would they do, what do they think needs to be done to the other yard, ect. Great project right there. I have another picture with my work area in my garage and several materials and pieces. I take that picture to my Makey Makey builders classroom and show them and then bring them those same materials from home. Then I say: “Ok, what can you build with this?” “How basic, how advanced?” “Can you make it better and can you use code?” There is so much just walking around the house can do for you.

Sometimes we need to take a walk outside or visit the family, read our favorite book or yes, just look at something we did before. Inspiration doesn’t have to be out in the middle of the mountains or the ocean. Sometimes its as far as a few feet away.


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