About

The Learning Landscape is a playground framework for elementary learning that teaches core subjects, social skills, and leadership through game play, physical activity, and outdoor fun! The easy-to-build playspace and network of games for multiple subjects and age groups can be integrated to any school curriculum and adapted by teachers to improve student learning capacities in an interactive and fun way. Within a grid of half-buried reclaimed tires, teachers can run a series of core subject games (some are team-based, others individual, fast-paced, timed, or require the teacher to write answers on the tires using chalk).

Development

The Learning Landscape system is a Project H Design initiative, originally developed by a team of industrial designers, architects, students, and teachers. The concept was inspired by our observation of elementary school students struggling with math learning due to a lack of engaging learning materials. The Learning Landscape was originally designed as a low-cost spatial system for math learning that doubled as an outdoor playspace, but has since been expanded to include games and curricula for every core subject. Our ongoing goal is to make the construction, use, and adaptation of the Learning Landscape as accessible as possible for any school in the world.

Advantages

• Works for every subject and multiple grade levels (K-8)
• Increases physical activity
• Usable as playspace during recess
• Can be used as an assessment tool
• Can be built in one day at virtually no cost using reclaimed tires and volunteers
• All games available online, with new games added weekly
• Adaptable games with easy setup (chalk on tires)
• Ongoing construction, game, and curriculum support provided by Project H Design

Student Skills Developed

• All core subjects (math, language arts, history, foreign languages, art, science, social studies, etc)
• Teamwork and leadership
• Logical reasoning and quick-thinking
• Kinesthetic responses, physical coordination, and spatial reasoning

Curriculum and Games

The Learning Landscape’s database of games is accessible to all. Game structures are adaptable for all subjects and multiple age groups (K-8). Games range from slow- to fast-paced, individual to team-based. Each game may be replicated infinitely with different sets of answers, which are written in chalk on each of the tires. Games are searchable by subject and more specific subsets (i.e. Math >> Fractions), so that gameplay and use of the Learning Landscape is easily integrated into standard curricula. A class period on the Learning Landscape can be substituted for an in-classroom lesson plan by using a game targeted to the curriculum’s content. Search for a game by subject, age group, or game dynamic here.

Adaptation

The success of the Learning Landscape relies on input and feedback from the teachers and students who use it every day. Because the system is intended to be flexible, we encourage teachers to create their own games and contribute them to our growing community. Teachers have previously created great games for learning how to calculate area, how to spell, and how to learn state capitals! Submit your own game to the Learning Landscape Network here.

Impact

The following results have been noted at some or all schools using the Learning Landscape:
• Improved test scores (class tests or standard tests)
• Greatly improved student comfort with new material
• Ability to apply core subject learning to real-world problems
• Higher alertness and engagement in class
• Effective use as an assessment tool for teachers to evaluate student understanding
• Greater cooperation between students
• Student desire to learn (“Can we go outside and use the the tire thing?!”)

Open-Source Community

In order to make the Learning Landscape as accessible as possible, all of our construction documents, games, and support is open-sourced. We hope you will join our community, contribute your own games, build your own playground, and be a part of our growing group of educators and students using the Learning Landscape as an interactive and fun tool for school!

About Project H Design

Project H Design is a nonprofit design firm that connects the power of design to the people who need it most, and the places where it can make a real and lasting difference. We focus on improving environments, products, and experiences for K-12 education institutions in the US through systems-level design thinking and deep community engagements. For more information, visit Project H Design or Studio H, our high school design/build program in rural North Carolina.

The Learning Landscape is a playground framework for elementary learning that teaches core subjects, social skills, and leadership through game play and fun physical activity! The easy-to-build playspace and network of games for multiple subjects can be integrated into any school curriculum to improve student learning capacities.