Wherever I Look

Science and Art Activity

Children become aware of the natural world around them by looking, then drawing and writing what they see.

WHAT YOU NEED

Drawing paper and materials

WHAT TO DO

  1. Ask children to describe briefly what they noticed of the natural world (that is, anything not actually built by humans) on their way to school this morning. Point out that we may all see different things, depending on where we look.

  2. Introduce children to the following sentence starters:

    When I look up, I see . . .
    When I look down, I see . . .
    When I look left, I see . . .
    When I look right, I see . . .

    Tell children that they are going to go outside and look in those directions and notice what they can see of the natural world.

  3. Take children outdoors and have them spread out enough so that everyone has a clear line of vision.

  4. When you return to the classroom, ask children to prepare four "panels," one for each direction. They should draw what they saw (for example: a bird, tree, bug, weeds) and complete the appropriate sentence starter.

  5. Display the panels in groups of four under each child's name.

TEACHING OPTIONS

Have children work with partners so that each child is responsible for two directions. One child describes what she or he sees as the other makes notes or sketches. Then the partners change roles.

Ask children to read their group of sentences as a little poem. Also try various combinations of lines to create a choral reading. For example, have four students read about what they saw when they looked up, then four read about what they saw when they looked down, and so forth.

To help children see how the things we see every day can seem extraordinary if we take the time to look at them and wonder, share poems written for children about natural phenomena, such as the sky, birds, or flowers. Encourage children to write poems with their own thoughts about nature.


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