E.T. A LOCAL WAY OF LEARNING
DEAD OR ALIVE?
Eulalie R. Rivera Elementary School
Environmental Education Team
6. Natural Resources
8. Attitudes, Values
1. Language Arts
3. Social Studies
By using their five senses, children will make observations and correctly classify some items
found in a natural area into living and non-living in their present state. (Ex. leaf on a tree is
living; leaf fallen from a tree is non-living.)
To better appreciate nature, children may begin at an early age to experience and learn about
the way it functions. The uniqueness of nature can be experienced through seeing, hearing,
touching, smelling, and tasting. By this activity, children will learn to make simple
classification of what things are living or non-living, and what non-living things are associated
with the source from which they came.
Supplies needed: blindfolds, cardboard writing surface, white paper, and crayons.
Students should be divided into groups of five, and with adult, move from station to station.
Each of these activities can be done separately or in combination at each place.
Teacher or leader should read activity directions at each place.
On the walk with our small group we will make frequent stops. At these times, we will stress
observing with one of the senses.
A. Feeling Time Sit in a small circle in your wild place. Put on your blindfold. Your
teacher will find things to pass around, one at a time. Feel them with your hand, and say
one thing about it, and also decide if it is dead or alive. Listen to each student's description.
After everything has been passed around, take off blindfolds and look at the things.
1. How many were dead or living things?
2. Who had the best descriptions? The funniest?
3. The most creative? The most imaginative?
B. Listening Time At this spot, everyone must be very quiet as they sit in a circle again with
blindfolds on. Listen for 5-10 minutes to the sounds of wind, and bushes, and trees; of
animals and birds; of insects or bugs; and other sounds. (If you have a tape recorder--try to
capture these sounds). What sounds are coming from living things? From dead things? Can
you tell what is making these sounds? Use words to describe the sounds you hear. Have
each student share this information on any sound with the others.
C. Smelling Time At this station, again with blindfolds on, smell things that are passed
around by your teacher. Each student, in turn describes the smell and labels it as coming
from a dead or alive thing. When all things have been passed around, remove blindfolds
and look at the things. How many came from dead things? From live things? Who had the
D. Looking Time At this 'Location, 'look around and try to describe your wild place as other
students listen. Try to be imaginative and accurate. Pick out one special thing that you
'Like the most about your wild place. Tell about it to the others; tell whether it is living or
dead. What makes it a living or dead thing?
E. At this wild place, find something to make a crayon rubbing. Place the paper you have over
the thing, and using a crayon, rub over the surface to make an impression. Was your thing
living? Dead7 Take this back to school and make a display for others to see.
F. Tasting Time NOTE--TASTE ONLY SAFE THINGS--grass, sugar cane slice, sour sop
leaf, etc. Again, use blindfolds, and tell what each thing seems to be. Is it dead or alive?
When everyone has finished, take off blindfolds and see how you did!
G. Thinking Time Here, you stop to sit quietly for awhile and think about your wild place.
1. Is it good to be here?
2. How do you feel about yourself today?
3. Would you like to come back?
4. Would you like to be an animal in this place?
5. Would you like to be a plant in this place?
6. Would you want someone to change this place?
7. How would you feel if there was junk here?
8. How would you keep this place nice?
If there is time left, you may just wish to sit and chat, play a game, act out some characters or
animals, or anything else you can think of.