Age: Key Stage 1-2
Time: walk, plus 50 minute lesson
Walking and Talking with Trees
Taking your class out and about? Try our tree worksheets for writing on the go, and our poetry exercises once you’re back in the classroom.
- Nature poem worksheets. Get yours here: nature-poem-handouts
- blindfolds or scarves (optional)
- crayon for bark and leaf rubbing
- pencil or pen for writing
1) Outside: bark and leaf rubbings
Note: each child might need more than one sheet of paper for collecting bark and leaf rubbings.
To make leaf and bark rubbings, place the sheet of paper on the surface and rub the side of a crayon firmly over the other side.
Leaf rubbings can be turned into a collage by collecting rubbings of lots of different types of leaf on one page, perhaps using different coloured crayons.
For the bark rubbings, encourage the children to use the whole page – they’ll need this later on…
2) Outside: nature observation
Our worksheets have a range of different activities to help children use language to describe the trees, plants and wildlife they encounter:
- For writing as a bird, they could crouch down near a hedge, or stand on tiptoes near a tree
- The ‘comparison challenge’ is a way into writing similes. Encourage extended, detailed responses
- The blindfold activity works in pairs or threes, with one person blindfolded and describing feelings and sounds, while the others make a note
- There’s a challenge task of writing as a tree. Some pupils might be able to give the tree a particular ‘voice’ – does it sound like an older person? Or something else?
3) Bark poems
Back in the classroom, ask the children to get out their bark rubbings. There should be different shapes and textures on the page. For a bark poem, write along the lines or white grooves created by the bark rubbing. The writing could include some of the sensory description from earlier, or comparisons based on the shapes of the bark, or even imagined thoughts of the tree itself.
4) Letters from the trees
If the children have started writing as a tree, they could develop their ideas back at school. Cut out coloured paper into the shape of a large leaf. Children can write a ‘letter’ from a tree on these leaves – what message would they give other trees? Or to humans?