Earth walks

Exploring the conservation area using some of our 5 senses

Earth Walks
Learning outcome

To use our senses to experience the awe and wonder of the world around us.

Key Stubbington focus

Environment

Overview
  • For Key Stage 2
  • Duration 1 or 2 hours (choose up to 3 activities for 1 hour session and 5-6 for 2 hours)
Success criteria
  • I can name our five senses
  • I can use my senses to explore the environment around me
  • I can discuss how these different perspectives make me feel
Session plan

Introduction

Children are introduced to the idea of using their senses to investigate the conservation area. This will involve a recap of the 5 senses. Each activity has its own short introduction.

Main

A selection of activities from the list below;

Sky-Eye

Children use a mirror under their nose/chin to simulate eyes on top of their head, helping them see the conservation area from the perspective of a mouse or vole. After a walk around the grounds, the children share their thoughts and feelings with the group.

Nature’s Palettes

Children collect small examples of natural colour (e.g. leaves, petals) on their own palettes trying to find all 7 colours of the rainbow. The children discuss which colours were easiest/hardest to find and having identified green as the most abundant colour, are set the challenge of finding as many shades of green as they can for their palette.

Smelly Cocktails

Children create a concoction of natural smells from Mother Nature’s Kitchen using a base liquid to start them off. This activity can include a visit to the weather garden (supervised by an adult) to collect samples of the herbs growing there. They decorate their potion with natural straws, umbrellas etc and give it an imaginative name before holding a ‘cocktail party’ with the opportunity to sniff their classmate’s creations!

Touch boxes

Children collect natural items with contrasting textures e.g. prickly and tickly. They then swap and guess the textures of another group.

Meet a tree

A sighted child leads his/her blindfolded partner to a tree within a given area. Using their sense of touch, they ‘get to know’ the tree, feeling for clues that will later help them to identify it. The child is led away, their blindfold removed and they try to find the tree they met.

Eye spy walk

Children test observation and memory skills by trying to find and remember a variety of objects hidden in Cooper’s Copse. Some things are artificial, others natural but in the wrong place. After some searching time, the children can share what they’ve found with the group (e.g. in ‘Mrs Brown’s shopping basket’ style). This can lead to discussion about what things were easiest to find, and why, and the idea of camouflage in nature.

Sound Symphony

Children spend time listening to nature’s music around them. As they do so they record it using their own symbols written on musical staves provided. Their notation should illustrate whether the sounds are high or low (by position on stave), long or short, quiet or loud (size of notation) and identify the sound with a symbol.

Snap shot

Sighted children lead their blindfolded partner around the grounds to a ‘special view’. Then like a wildlife photographer, they will take 3 ‘photographs’ by lifting their partner’s blindfold for a split second. The children then meet together to discuss their photographs.

Plenary

Re-cap senses used and how they have used these to see the conservation area in different ways. Link these to animals in the grounds and how they use their senses to experience the world around us.

Less able children

Supported by accompanying adults as necessary.

More able children

Vocabulary used for touch boxes.

Previsit activities

  • What do children enjoy/find exciting about the world around them?
  • Describe nature using as many senses as they can – possible lead to poetry (pre or post visit)

Follow up activities

  • Use palettes to make a display back at school
  • Write up ingredients list for smelly cocktails with cocktail name and picture.
  • Some of the activities could be repeated back at school for comparison (e.g. sound symphony)
Health and safety checks

General – hands to be kept away from faces and washed immediately after session.

Remind children to watch out for ponds, ditches and uneven ground.

Each activity will have boundaries outlined at the beginning which children must remain within.

Sky-Eye

Children to walk in line led by member of staff. Line up in height order with taller children in front. Two hands on mirror. Adult to check for sharp edges if mirror is dropped. Avoid stopping in case of collision. Route taken will avoid major trip hazards and ponds.

Nature’s Palettes

Children warned which plants not to touch.

Smelly cocktails

Children told not to drink cocktails and warned which plants not to touch. Stirrers to be removed from glasses before other children smell them. When discarding cocktails at the end, children throw the liquid behind them. Children not to include animal faeces in cocktails.

Touch boxes

Children to pick up prickly items carefully.

Meet a tree

Children shown how to lead their partner (e.g. to be aware of hazards, avoiding trip hazards, nettles at base of tree). Sighted children must stay in contact with their partners. Activity not to be undertaken if bad behaviour in the group.

Snap shot

Children instructed on the best way to lead their blindfolded partner.

Eye spy walk

Boundaries to be pointed out to children at the start. Children encouraged to not just look up. Stay on paths.