Alternate Activity 1: Nature Conversation Journal
Activity time: 12 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Pencils and small notebooks, or blank paper and clipboards, for all participants
Preparation for Activity
- Identify an outdoor area where the children can safely spend some time. If necessary, get permission to use the space and permission to bring children outdoors.
- If children will use clipboards, attach a few sheets of paper to each clipboard.
Description of Activity
Beatrix Potter's stories grew out of her observations of nature, combined with her active imagination that filled in the animals' sides of a conversation. Guide children to initiate conversation with something in nature, such as a plant, an animal, a stone or a twig.
Bring the group outdoors. Distribute pencils and notebooks or clipboards and paper. Ask children, without speaking to one another, to find something in the natural world that they can greet as an old friend or that they would like to get to know better. Invite them to ask questions of their conversation partner, and to use their imaginations to fill in what the plant/animal/stone might say in response. This, of course, will not be an actual conversation, and should be conducted without speaking aloud.
Explain that they can record their conversation any way they like - word for word, or by taking notes or drawing pictures to help remember the questions and answers.
Back indoors (or in a circle outdoors, if the weather is nice), invite volunteers to share what they chose to talk with, and what was said.