CERES Education sometimes uses this activity to engage children, students and adults with things outside IN the environment. You are welcome to use it in your education of others.
1. Before heading outside, talk about being cautious when moving things around in nature and keeping your eyes open for plants and animals you might disturb.
2. Ask participants to choose 1 thing in the environment (preferably dead, not plucking a leaf off a tree) that they can hold in their hand and bring to the circle.
3. Sit outside (or in a circle) and guide participants through the following sensory activity:
– Touch: Close your eyes and feel your object from top to bottom and all over. Feel which parts are rough and which are smooth.
– See: Look really closely at your object. Hold it up close to your eyes.
– Hear: Move your object near your ear. Listen to the sound it makes.
– Smell: What does your object smell like?
– Speak: Explain what your object is to the person next to you. You are not allowed to use its name, instead use lots of describing words.
4. What is your object’s job in nature? What was its role when it was alive and what is its role now that its no longer living?
5. What would happen if your object was removed? What would be affected? Plants? Animals? What relies on this object?
6. Explain to participants that it’s wonderful to look at natural objects and keep them for a while but its also important to return them to nature because they have a job to do.