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Activity 3: Eyes on Nature
Activity time: 20 minutes
Preparation for Activity
- Choose an outdoor location, preferably with a diversity of living things.
- Gather materials for Activity 4, Reflecting on Beauty, and take them with you so that you can complete Activity 4 outdoors.
Description of Activity
Bring the group outside. Tell the children they will have a chance to become both a "Camera" and a "Photographer." They will practice their observation skills and to view scenes from various perspectives as they try different ways of framing what they see.
Tell the children that when everyone has taken pictures, they will have a chance in the next activity to "develop the film" by creating the pictures on paper.
Have the children form pairs. Explain that they will take turns being a Camera and a Photographer. Once the children have partners, have them decide who will start as the Camera and who will start as the Photographer, reminding them that they will switch roles later.
Explain that the Cameras will close their eyes and the Photographers will gently guide the Cameras to a location to make a picture. Everything is done in silence (or with whispered instructions to the ear if necessary). The Photographer should gently position the body and head of the Camera to set up the picture. Encourage the Photographer to use different types of shots, including close-up, long shots, or even a tilt or pan, as with a video camera. You can demonstrate or explain examples such as tilting the Camera down low and crouching close to view a wildflower, or having the Camera lie down on their back and looking up, into the trees and sky. When the shot is set up, the Photographer gently taps the shoulder of the Camera. The Camera then opens their eyes, counts silently to 10, gazes at the shot, and then closes their eyes again. Then the Photographer sets up the next "photo." Ask the Photographer to make 2 to 4 "photos" depending on the time you have. Then have partners switch roles.
Including All Participants
Allow children who are not comfortable closing their eyes to simply lower their gaze when they are the Camera. Remind Photographers to be gentle in guiding the Cameras, taking into account any mobility issues.
If the group includes a child with blindness or significant visual impairment, ask your religious educator or ask a parent, directly, to learn parent preferences regarding activities in which the child cannot fully participate. Describe the activity to the parent. They may be able to suggest an adaptation that could be meaningful and comfortable for their child. You might suggest that a child who is blind can take a tactile approach to the Camera role, using their hands to feel the area immediately around them and then describing what they feel. However, it may be best to skip this activity.