In the wake of the pandemic, teachers were asked to change their curriculums to meet the health, safety, and social-emotional needs of our students. Urban Forest School provided a way for my students to learn safely outside, while also helping to reconnect with a world that they had been isolated from for an entire year. This paper will detail how, through unstructured play outside, my students created meaningful landmarks that provided sites for multi-faceted learning and connection during the pandemic.

Author Biography

Margaret Nell Becker

Margaret Nell Becker graduated from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2010 with a master’s degree in inclusive elementary education. After teaching in a variety of New York City schools, Becker has spent the past decade as a 4th/5th grade teacher at Central Park East 2 in East Harlem, NY. In her teaching practice, Becker prioritizes bringing the world into her classroom through experiential learning that is authentic and meaningful to her students. She lives in Harlem with her partner and two children.



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