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
- Talk with students about how animals use smell to find food, mates, etc.
- Tell students that there is a âpeppermint beetleâ that lives in the trees and marks them with a peppermint smell.
- Divide the students into small teams and give them flagging tape.
- Have them investigate to see if they can locate any of the marked trees.
- When they find one, they should mark it with their teamâs tape.
- 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.
- Talk about the importance of smell to all animals.
- Ask students to be seated. Have them close their eyes and listen for several minutes.
- 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.
- Talk about what sounds students heard and what caused them. Were they natural or mechanical?
- Docent will talk about the different foods that come from plants.
- Docent will pass out the student page and have them color and identify what part of the plant each comes from.
- Docent will discuss the answers and explain each.
- Students will be invited to share in Tree treats.
- Divide the group into pairs and give them a blindfold. Blindfold one of the partners.
- 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.
- Have the blindfolded partner try to find their tree.
- 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.
- Discuss what they discovered.