|Environmental Education in the Schools (Peace Corps, 1993)|
|Activities, activities and more activities|
This is a good game for getting children interested in rocks, plants, and animals. Before assembling the children to play, secretly gather from the immediate area about 10 common natural objects, such as rocks, seeds, conifer cones, plant parts, and some signs of animal activity. Lay the objects out on a handkerchief and cover them with another handkerchief. Call the children close around you and tell them, "Under this cloth are 10 natural objects that you'll be able to find nearby. I will lift the handkerchief for 25 seconds so you can take a good look and try to remember everything you see."
After looking at the objects, the children spread out and collect identical items, keeping their findings to themselves. After five minutes of searching, call them back. Dramatically pull out the objects from under the handkerchief, one at a time, telling interesting stories about each one. As each object is presented, ask the children if they found one just like it.
Children have a lively curiosity about the kinds of things you show them-rocks, seeds, plants, and so on. When you repeat the game several times, it has a noticeable strengthening effect on the child's concentration and memory.
Note: Make sure you have students return collected items and don't collect living or rare things.
"Nature and books belong to the eyes that see
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The power that makes grass grow, fruit open, and guides the
bird in flight is in us all."