October – Outdoor Education Inspiration

October 2023 Blog – Outdoor Education Inspiration

At Hillside, we believe that sometimes one of the very best things you can do is get out of the classroom and into spaces where you can explore and create as you learn. Since Hillside is situated on 5 acres of Cougar Mountain’s beautiful forest, there are trails, tons of native plants to examine, perfect spots for camping, and even an outdoor classroom. This past month our learning has been deeply inspired by the woods around us. 

The 5th and 6th grade students are studying Native American tribes in US History class this month, and learning how to live a little closer to the land our school is built on. We’re fortunate enough to have a wilderness survival expert on staff, who helped the class learn how to build a tipi survival shelter, including how to gather materials in the forest that are safe to use, and that don’t damage the forest. 

We also had our Community Building Day Hike recently! Exploring the forest together and helping each other overcome obstacles is just one of many ways nature helps strengthen our community. 

Art classes at all grade levels have been drawing inspiration from our forest this month, as well – the 5th/6th grade students have been enjoying plein air sketching, and our older students learned to sew forest critters. Those hand-stitched squirrels are adorable!



Our science classes often do experiments involving the forest – but this month, did some in-classroom experiments with one of the most important things we find in nature and our forest – water.



By spending class time outdoors, our students have learned to appreciate the world around them through art and survival skills. They’ve also learned important teamwork skills through science, hiking, and tipi construction. We can learn so much from stepping outside of our classrooms – it’s such a gift for our students to have the forest around us!


Looking Ahead:

  • October 12th – October Open House at 7PM
  • October 23rd – Start of Block IB
  • October 28th – Halloween Party at 7PM

October Birthdays:

  • Flora
  • Harry
  • Ausby
  • Frances
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