This series of activities can be done at any time of the year. Students are divided into four or five groups. Time frame for this series is approximately 2 hours.

Conceptual Framework: Sensory observation

Activity One: Peppermint Beetle
Activity Two: Sounds Around
Activity Three: Pass the Plants Please
Activity Four: Reach Out and Touch

Peppermint Beetle

  1. Talk with students about how animals use smell to find food, mates, etc.
  2. Tell students that there is a “peppermint beetle” that lives in the trees and marks them with a peppermint smell.
  3. Divide the students into small teams and give them flagging tape.
  4. Have them investigate to see if they can locate any of the marked trees.
  5. When they find one, they should mark it with their team’s tape.
  6. When all trees are found, gather students into a group and have them pass around jars with distinctive smells and see if they can identify them.
  7. Talk about the importance of smell to all animals.

Sounds Around

  1. Ask students to be seated. Have them close their eyes and listen for several minutes.
  2. When time has elapsed, pass out paper and pencils and have them draw a sound map. Put an X to represent where they are and have them represent relative locations of sounds they heard.
  3. Talk about what sounds students heard and what caused them. Were they natural or mechanical?

Pass the Plants Please

  1. Docent will talk about the different foods that come from plants.
  2. Docent will pass out the student page and have them color and identify what part of the plant each comes from.
  3. Docent will discuss the answers and explain each.
  4. Students will be invited to share in Tree treats.

Reach Out and Touch

  1. Divide the group into pairs and give them a blindfold. Blindfold one of the partners.
  2. Have the other partner choose a tree and lead the blindfolded one to it. Have them guide the blindfolded one in exploration of it-bark, leaves, branches, etc. Lead them back to the group gathering spot.
  3. Have the blindfolded partner try to find their tree.
  4. Switch roles and let the other partner explore a tree using the sense of touch and then let them try to find their tree also.
  5. Discuss what they discovered.