Science and Teaching for Field Instructors

Card Hike

Card Hikes are common activities in outdoor science programs designed to give students a safe “solo” experience in nature and are often powerful and memorable experiences for students. Guided quiet or alone time in the outdoors is one way for students to build their own relationships with nature. Reflection is a key aspect of learning, but often it is cut short or left out of learning experiences. A thoughtful Card Hike offers students a chance to reflect on and extend their learning and to spend time connecting with nature (and themselves).

In the Card Hike activity, students walk or move slowly down a trail (chosen ahead of time) one at a time, reading cards placed along the trail. The cards feature prompts and quotes that engage students in sensory explorations and reflections. This write-up activity focuses on how to build the prompts, quotes, and sensory experiences in a Card Hike around the science learning theme of a field experience or series of activities and includes two themed sets of cards (Adaptations Theme Cards and Ecosystems, Matter, and Energy Theme Cards).

Students will…

• Spend time walking or moving alone in silence, experiencing nature.

• Think and wonder about the learning theme of a field experience.

• Read quotes and engage in brief sensory experiences related to the theme.

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