Process Skills: Listening, identifying, describing
Time required: 15 minutes
Supplies needed: List of items to find in nature, or elements of design
Learning Objectives: i) To apply lessons learned during photography lecture re: the elements of design outdoors. ii) To enhance students’ curiousity and appreciation of the shapes, forms and colours that exist in their own neighbourhood. iii) To consider the diversity and interrelatedness of living things in your neighbourhood.
Tip: Everybody loves a good scavenger hunt, especially when they’re needing some active outside. There are many different ways to integrate a scavenger hunt into an outdoor photography program. Here are two that we’ve used in our school program:
1) Students are asked to hunt for 10 things on a list and to photograph each. The list could be made more simple or challenging depending on student grade and your curriculum needs: i) two different kinds of leaves ii) an animal home iii) two things that depend on each other iv) two different kinds of evergreen trees v) two things that are pollinators vi) 4 different wildflowers vii) four different leaves viii) two different stones found in the same locale.
After, students can be gathered in a circle to talk about what they saw, and to focus in on curriculum-related subjects (e.g. biodiversity)
2) Students go outside, taking their Focus on Nature field notebooks (in which they’ve written the “elements of design”) or index cards with the same, and their cameras. They’re asked to explore a designated area, keeping their eyes wide open for the elements of design in nature. Their assignment is to photograph examples of each of the 7 “Elements of Design” (line, shape, form, texture, tone, space and colour). Afterwards a discussion can be initiated about what they learned and felt about this experience, including if anything surprised them. It may also be valuable to talk about art and the natural world, and about artists from the beginning of time being inspired by nature – the forms, colours, textures etc so often represented through art.