Activity time: 10 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Copies of Handout 1, Through My Window, for all participants
- Color pencils, markers, or crayons
Preparation for Activity
- Download, print, and photocopy Handout 1, Through My Window.
- Arrange to use a room where all participants will be able to sit comfortably and look out a window to the outdoors.
- Prepare drawing and writing implements to distribute after participants return from the window to work tables.
Description of Activity
Looking through a window and recording their observations by drawing will focus children's attention on nature. Tell the group that Henry David Thoreau observed nature by looking out the window of his cottage as well as by taking walks in the woods. Say, in your own words,
Wherever you live, you can observe and learn something from nature by looking carefully out a window. Even if you live in a busy city on the top floor of a building, you can see the horizon never changing, the location of the sun and moon, and the changing cloud formations.
Take the children to a window. Ask:
- Why do you think buildings have windows?
Most children will understand a window's primary function: to let light inside. Point out, also, that windows allow us to see outside. Invite them to call out any natural events they can see outside the window. Guide them to look for:
- Insects and insect homes just outside the window
- Any clouds, or the skyline
- Condensation on the window
- Erosion in the Earth below, a sign of wind or animal life passing through the area
Allow time for silent observation, and more conversation about what the children can see of nature outside the window. As the children look out the window, encourage them to share what they see and to talk about what it makes them think about, what it means to them, and how it makes them feel. Then, ask children to return to their worktables. Distribute handouts and drawing implements and invite children to fill the window on the handout with what they have seen.
You may wish to send another handout home so children can draw what they see out a window at home.