Introduction with plants

General Aim

– To introduce the topic of nature;
– To promote the connection among the members of the group;
– To support the creation of a connection with nature;
– To help participants to express their feelings.

Learning goals

– understanding how natural objects can be used in pedagogical work
– developing emotional intelligence
– development of attention and introspection (towards nature, others and ourselves)

Short description/background/Introduction/Tips for the trainer

Tips for the trainer: There is a variation on this activity if you have access to an outside space in a natural environment. Ask the participants to spend 10-15 minutes outside, familiarizing themselves with their surroundings and then select an object to bring back to the room.
NB If they find a live plant, instead of picking it, ask them to take a photo which they can then show to the group. As a basis for working in nature, make sure to mention that we shouldn’t harm the natural environment by picking flowers or breaking off branches.
When people are introducing themselves, make sure to set a time limit. In some groups people enjoy sharing about themselves, but in a larger group, the introduction can become too long if everyone shares long stories. Depending on how much time you have, set a limit of 3 minutes per person, and then signal gently when the time is up.

Target

12-80 years

Suggested group

5-20 peopleIndividual and whole group activity

Materials

– Table with different natural objects (fruits, seeds, branches, leaves, etc.)
– Forest/natural outdoor space

Duration

15-30 minutes, depending on the circumstances (indoor or outdoor) and the number of participants

Procedure/steps

The facilitator prepares a table full of natural objects, such as fruits, seeds, leaves, rocks, etc. The more varied the objects are, the better.
Participants gather around the table, and as they look around they are asked to think about how they got here, what motivated them to attend, and what their expectations are. Focusing on natural objects, each participant chooses an object that they feel connected to at this moment, which represents their role in this journey. In a circle, anyone can start by saying their name and where they are from and then showing their object, explaining why they chose it.

Evaluation/Final debriefing

No special evaluation is required. This exercise can be used to start the session.