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[Joseph Cornell]

A piece of material for covering objects, and some natural objects picked up along the way.

Outdoors, in a clearing. Good places—Skinny Woods, Tall Trees, Hawkhill Wood, Innocent Walkway, Craigmillar Castle Park.

Encourages the children to search out interesting natural objects, to use their memory and perhaps to find out about objects they have never noticed before.

Whilst out playing games or on a walk, pick up some natural things, hopefully without anyone noticing! Fold the material and place the objects between the two layers. Then ask everyone to gather round. Tell them that under the material you have ten (or however many) objects that you want them to find exact copies of. BUT, they will only have a few seconds to look at and remember all the objects before they’re covered over again. Uncover the objects for 10 seconds (more or less!) and go through all the objects on the material, giving a short description of each one. Then cover them up. The children will run off, searching for their own objects. Every so often, remind them how many objects they are looking for. After about 5 minutes, call them back and go through all the objects one by one - telling another amazing fact or story about each one. Ask who found an item like it. Afterwards, ask if everyone knew what all the objects were, or if they had learned about any new objects.

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Go explore for yourself!