E1 My Stick
Needed: Bucket or pot filled with sand, dirt, or rocks, and a large stick for each person OR have each person bring their own sticks. May choose to do C6: Three Sticks, the week before this activity.
Activity: Put some sand (or crumpled paper) in each bucket. There must be enough for a rather big stick to stand up in it. Each person puts a stick in a bucket.
Admire each stick. Have everyone tell where their stick came from and what it could be used for. Then have each person describe their own stick. Ask them to touch it all over with their eyes closed.
Divide into pairs. Have each person examine the stick their partner brought in and describe the differences between the two.
Then have them close their eyes, feel a branch, and guess whether it is theirs or their partner’s.
When this is easy, make the groups bigger, with three or four in each group.
Make the groups bigger till people can’t remember whose branch is whose any more. Have everyone put a mark on his or her own branch such as their initials or name. Then store the sticks in the buckets of sand.
Variation: This can also be done with other things which come in different shapes and sizes. Each person could bring an empty plastic bottle, an empty plastic container (some will be round, others rectangular), a (cardboard) box, a ball or . . . .
E2 Blindfold Copy (drawing lines blindfolded)
Skills practiced: fine motor skills; pre-writing skills; learning to see visual differences (pre-writing)
Items needed: Paper, pencils, cloths to use as blindfolds.
One person draws a line on a sheet of paper. Another follows along the line with their index finger. Then he/she takes a pencil and a sheet of paper. He/she closes his/her eyes or is blindfolded and tries to imitate the line on his/her own paper. People may work in pairs or small groups for this activity or, for a small group, a board may be used. Once the blindfolded person opens their eyes, they can see how well they succeeded in copying the first line.
Repeat, with the lines drawn having more curves and angles as the game continues.
E3 Three Decorations
(Drawing creative patterns; pattern = repeated decorative design) Skills practiced: fine motor skills; discerning visual differences, creativity
Needed: Make very simple sample of activity. Divide sheets of paper into three parts (fold?)
Items needed: Paper and pencils.
Activity: Tell a story as you show the group your example. Or, if possible, draw the example while you talk. Through the story, the group will begin to see patterns in the world around them. Sample story: This morning I looked outside and saw clouds (wavy lines). I started to go down the road (straight lines). Then, finally, I got to the beach and saw sand (lots of little dots). Additional ideas: it started to rain (slanting lines); I saw an office building with a lot of windows (squares or rectangles); sidewalk or pavement; brick building; birds flying; an airplane trail crossed by another airplane trail; waves; ripples in a mud puddle; rainbow; fence.
Then have everyone design their own set of three patterns on the three parts of their own sheets of paper. Before beginning, possibly discuss what different types of patterns they might make. Perhaps begin by asking what patterns they saw on their way to the meeting or patterns they might see right now out of the window or in the meeting room.
Each of the three patterns should be totally different, preferably using a different drawing technique (dots; nice wrinkles or waves; lines).
E4 Feel the Rhythm
Check whether it is okay to touch someone’s leg. May need to tap each other on the arm, back, hand, or shoulder instead.
Sit in a circle. Tap a rhythm on someone’s leg. Let him repeat it on another person’s leg, and so on, all around the circle. When the rhythm reaches the last person in the circle, have them tap it on the leg of the first person. Has the rhythm changed?