In "World of Wonder," a Tapestry of Faith program
Take a walk outside.
Say, in these words or your own:
Today as we walk, we will be nature detectives, looking for evidence or clues of decomposition. Watch for decomposers, which are animals and other living things that help break down dead plant or animal matter into nutrients that create new healthy soil.
Distribute magnifying glasses when children wish to look at tiny creatures or closely examine a leaf, bark, or other feature of nature.
Look for fungi (mushrooms or shelf fungus are easiest to spot), beetles, millipedes, slugs, centipedes, sow bugs, ants, bacteria, maggots, and worms. If you find a log on the ground, see what's underneath. Note: Be sure to roll a log toward you and have everyone stand back a bit so you can control it without rolling over anyone's toes. Under logs, look for centipedes, beetles, salamanders, and other surprises. Carefully return the log back to its original location to avoid crushing any animals or plants.
Ask the children why they think decomposers are so important in the cycle of life.
After your walk, process with questions such as:
Determine whether there are any relevant allergies within your group, such as bee stings or pollen, and plan accordingly.
If you have a child who uses a wheelchair or has limited mobility, select a location that is accessible, with paved paths.
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Last updated on Friday, May 17, 2013.
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