Have you tried the “walk and talk” approach to student discussions?
Pair up students to discuss a concept you’re teaching. Take them outdoors—into nature’s classroom—for a brief walk, during which they’ll discuss and analyze the topic, with the mission of increasing their depth of understanding.
Upon return, ask them to write a short piece evaluating what they learned from their partner.
Connecting with fresh air, sky, and earth have a way of tossing around our minds and mixing in a new perspective. When you teach students the benefits of refreshing themselves outdoors—walking, talking, listening, noticing—you introduce them to a new place to think, to reflect, and to be.