4-6, Unit Six, Activity 8: "Meet A Tree"
Students will be able to experience the forest as a collection of individual trees. Blindfolded pairs of students take turns exploring a tree.
Grades: 4 – 6
Time: 1 hour
Subject: Language arts, life science
Area where there are plenty of standing trees.
- Enough blindfolds for half the number of students in the class.
1. Students pair off, one student being blindfolded and the other carefully leading the blindfolded student through the forest to any tree that attracts him. Instruct leaders to tell their partners when to lift their feet to step over a log, when they need to duck to avoid branches, etc. Identify a boundary so students do not disappear in the forest!
2. The leader instructs the blindfoldee to explore his tree and feel its uniqueness - without removing the blindfold! Instruct leaders to be specific: “Is this tree alive?...Feel the bark with your cheek...How does the tree smell?...Can you put your arms around it?...Are there any plants growing on the tree?...Animal signs?...How does the ground around your tree feel?...How old is the tree?”
3. After the blindfoldee is done exploring his tree, the leader leads him back to the starting point, taking a roundabout way to further challenge the blindfolded student. Remove the blindfold and let the student try to find the tree with his eyes open. The leader can help by responding “yes” or “no” to the other student’s choices.
4. When the correct tree is found, students change places and the leader becomes the blindfoldee.
Do you think you can find your tree if you returned to this forest next month? Next year? What would you look for to identify it?