Get in Touch with Nature

This activity requires students to go on a field trip to a nearby environment (a park or school playground for example) and encourages them to use their senses in observation.


To develop ability to observe nature and to distinguish different plants and other natural phenomena


  • A shoe box or other medium-sized box
  • Natural objects and collection materials for each group of students
  • Collecting bags (clean socks can serve as well)


30-45 minutes


  1. Collect different natural objects from the ground (e.g., leaves, bark, nuts). 
  2. Cut a hole in the top of your box, the size for a hand to fit through, and place the items you collected into the “Mystery Box.” 
  3. Bring your Mystery Box and the kids to the area where you collected the materials. Give each kid a bag for collection, and then have them each feel inside the Mystery Box. 
  4. Ask the kids to find the things they felt in the box in the area around them. 
  5. After they have collected their items, gather them together. 
  6. Pull out one item from the Mystery Box and have students hold up their object that matches.


Put several different objects commonly found on the forest floor into separate bags, and pass them, one at a time, halfway around a circle of kids. Each kid feels the object and gives an adjective describing it. The other half of the circle tries to guess the bag’s contents. The last kid gets to reveal the object. Reverse the order so that everyone gets the chance to guess and to feel. Have the older kids arrange the objects in the order of decomposition rates. This might initiate considerable discussion, as there will probably be more than one possible order.

This lesson plan is an activity from the Environmental Activities for Youth Clubs and Camps, a resource developed by the Peace Corps Office of Overseas Programming and Training (OPATS). It was contributed by Peace Corps/Armenia.

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