Activity Introduction

In Australia, we get used to seeing pictures of landscapes completely burnt by bushfires. It can be hard to believe that these places could ever recover. But just like a graze on your knee eventually heals itself, or a really tough day can get better, natural environments can gradually regenerate, on their own and with our help. In this activity, you will go on a silent walk through nature, using your senses to notice new growth and life.

This is a good activity for kids to complete independently or with others.

Ideal for: Middle Primary Ages 8 – 10

Themes:

  • fresh air
  • chill time

Time required: 45 minutes – 1 hour

Curriculum connections: Science, Health and Physical Education, Sustainability, Personal and Social Capability.

Tips for Parents and Carers

The events that have taken place during the first half of 2020 have been far from what many of us in Australia are familiar with. This uncertainty may have understandably affected the wellbeing of children. Images and news articles about bushfires may create anxiety and fear, even for those not directly impacted, while the disruption to our routines brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic following so soon after may compound these feelings of uncertainty and worry about the world. There is much research showing the benefit of both time in nature and a regular mindfulness practice on mental wellbeing. Asking children to observe the remarkable way that nature continues to grow and heal will pair this benefit with a sense of hope and empowerment that recovery is possible after a stressful event.

As well as its positive effect on mental wellbeing, spending time in nature builds a greater appreciation for the natural world, which creates a motivation to conserve and repair damaged landscapes.

If possible, this activity should be completed in a forested area, to see trees at different stages in their life cycle. However it is also fine to select any outdoor area where there is plant life.

Lesson & Curriculum Details

Curriculum codes:

Resources Required

  • Access to a forest or garden area
  • Mindful Walk reflection sheet

 

Learning@Home from Cool Australia

Learning@Home resources are designed for parents and teachers to use with children in the home environment. They can be used as stand-alone activities or built into existing curriculum-aligned learning programs. Our Learning@Home series includes two types of resources. The first are fun and challenging real-world activities for all ages, the second are self-directed lessons for upper primary and secondary students. These lessons support independent learning in remote or school settings.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Student Worksheet

Schools Tree Day - Mindfulness - Activity Instructions

It’s normal to feel worried, unsure or frightened when there’s big things going on in the world around us. It can help to remember that, in nature, there is always new life rising from what might have looked bare or damaged.

Mindfulness is giving your full attention to the present moment - not thinking of what has already happened, or what else you need to do in your day. By practising mindfulness, you can help quiet your busy brain that is whirring away, filling your mind with those worrying thoughts.

Part A: Preparing for Mindfulness

Step 1. Head to your selected outdoor environment. Before you begin your walk, check in with any thoughts that are running through your head.

Closing your eyes, start by taking a big breath through your nose. Feel the temperature of the air as it enters your body, then notice how your body warms up the air as you breathe it out. As you let your body slow down, and you take away your sense of sig

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