The I AM Program

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I AM A Tree

Posted by Arna on July 24, 2014 at 8:00 PM

NEW I AM workshop for you!

I AM A Tree explores connection with each other, through the world of the tree.

Age group 6-12yrs

This workshop can be adjusted to suit the very young child as well as the older child or teenager.

Part One

Discussion

10 minutes

Part Two

Standing Visualisation

5 minutes

Part Three

Art Activity

Half Hour

Materials List

Large pieces of drawing paper, crayons/felt-tips/paint, brushes, water containers, glue, decorative recycled paper magazines, coloured paper, stickers, wool etc Things to glue on and decorate the artwork

Introduction 

Trees are gentle, natural and unique and as such make a perfect example of calm, connectedness for children (and adults) to contemplate.

In this workshop we will discuss the way trees look, how it feels to be near tree's in a natural setting and in how many ways the tree connects to the earth and to the environment including the animals that may use the tree as habitat. Another optional component to this workshop is the way humans use trees, for decoration, to appreciate, to be with for peaceful purposes, to create homes and more. Also for older children a discussion on responsible treatment of trees and the environment and how we could approach the use of trees in a responsible way, could be an exciting and revealing addition to the workshop.

We will visualise ourselves as a tree and contemplate how it might feel to be a tree, we will also relate the metaphor to ourselves and see how we connect to the world around us too, through our emotions and our actions. We will create either a mural of a tree and the way it connects to the world together, OR we will create individal artworks of ourselves as trees and all the things we grow on our trees including our positive emotions and values. 

Please read through the workshop and adjust to suit your diverse classroom or homeschooling needs

Part One

Discussion

Engage the children in a short discussion about trees. Ask questions like 'if trees could talk what would they say?' 'what are some words to describe a tree?' 'How do you feel when you walk or play in nature?'  ' In what ways does the tree connect to the environment?'

Allow the children to be free in their responses, add your own ideas and if you would like, write down some of the words and phrases on the board for them to refer back to.

Remember to use emotional language like 'I FEEL peaceful when I am near a tree' or 'Sometimes I feel angry if I see someone chopping down a tree it makes my heart hurt' or 'when I climb a tree I get butterfly's in my tummy'.

Visualisation

Ask everyone to stand up and plant their feet firmly on the ground (outside with no shoes is preferable but not necessary) 

Guide the children in a very brief visualisation

Feel your feet on the ground, wriggle your toes into the floor/earth, Breathe in deeply all the way down to your feet, breathe out.

hold your arms out like branches on a tree, imagine your legs growing strong like a tree and your roots reaching and digging into the earth, breathe in.... breathe out

imagine you are sucking up water from underground rivers into your body, fresh cold water all the way into your head and arms.

sway your arms in the breeze...

imagine little birds landing on your branches... breathe in and out...

Think about other animals and the sun all helping you and connecting with you.

Now relax your arms and open your eyes.

Ask the children how this felt, allow them to talk about their experiences if they wish to. 

Ask questions like 'what kind of tree were you?' "how big do you grow?' what animals visited you?'

Art Activity

Bring out the materials and encourage the children to imagine they are a tree connecting to the world around them, ask them to create a picture of themseves and decorate it in a way that they enjoy using the collage materials or paint and pens. Ask them to think about the different emotions they feel and what they would like to grow more of. Example: happiness, love, freedom, peace and so on.

If children have negative feelings allow them to express them through the artwork, you can always follow up privately and open up a dialogue for their feelings. 

Suggestions

Opportunity to expand workshop into a tree planting day.

Older children might enjoy researching little known facts about tree's such as 'Singing tree's' or 'The largest tree'

ENJOY! 

for further workshops please go to The I AM Workshops and Lesson Plans  page

feel free to post your art on our https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-AM-For-Kids/126054554144110" target="_blank">I AM For Kids Facebook Page


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