16 Nov 2006
A Walk in the Woods # Exercise 3. ‘Slides’.
Before the Earthwalk I give everybody a leaf, which I have chosen for their beautiful patterning. Tell them they are their tickets for the Earthwalk. When you arrive at the entrance to the woods you can pretend to check them, like tickets, as if they were going to the cinema. Tell them to hold onto their leaves as they will need them. To do this exercise you will need to have made your ‘slides’, made from cardboard, about 5″ square and hinged so you can open them to put your leaves in the middle. I then number them, and make sure I have one for each person, numbered from 1 to that number. I also write Kodak on them, to make them look a bit more like real slides!
Then you distribute them between everyone, and ask them to put their leaves in their slide. You end up with a small window where the light can shine through the leaf, illuminating the patterns, details and colours. Ask them to organise themselves in order of the numbers on their slides, and then to make a tight circle all facing the same way.
Tell them that they are a human-powered slide projector. They hold their slide up to the light and have a good look at it. Then, when you say “click!”, they pass their slide forward and take the one from behind them. Keep doing this, giving them enough time to have a good look at each leaf, until they get their original leaf back. You will here “ooh!” and “ah!” as the leaves make their way round. A very simple exercise, but one which really gets people exploring an everyday object in a completely different way.