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Neighbourhood Exploration

How well do you know your neighbourhood? In this activity, students go on an adventure in the schoolyard or around the neighbourhood to collect a predetermined list of items.

Before handing out the materials, make sure you have established boundaries with the students. If you are going around the block or neighbourhood, you may want to get an adult helper or older student leaders to come along. 

Objectives

  • List common organisms found in local neighbourhoods and describe how we can use our senses to observe these organisms.

Materials

Key Questions

  • Did you find something that you have never noticed before?
  • What items were the most difficult to find? Which were the easiest?
  • What signs of life are in your community?

What To Do

Preparation:

Make a lists of natural objects that can be found in your schoolyard or neighbourhood. Use the provided list, search the internet for lists, and for younger students, use pictures of the items they need to collect.

Consider the following items to help you create your own list.

Sample Urban Exploration List

Find:

  • Something hairy/furry
  • 2 kinds of seeds
  • 2 pieces of human-made litter
  • A spider web
  • Something smooth
  • Something rough
  • 2 different types of leaves
  • Something that makes a noise
  • Something with a hole in it
  • A beautiful rock
  • Something that you think is beautiful
  • A pine cone
  • Something green
  • A piece of bark
  • Something blue

Activity:

  1. Hand out bags, lists and pencils.
  2. Go outside to the exploration location.
  3. Have the students collect as many itemsĀ as they can in a given amount of time.
  4. As a group, sort through and discuss the collected items before heading back inside.
  5. Have students put the items back where they were found.

Extensions

  • An exploration for older students might be based on clues like these: something older than you; something younger than you; something that needs water to live; something of each colour of the rainbow.
  • Rather than collecting objects, students could use cameras to photograph their finds.
  • For older classes, consider creating an Community Inventory of organisms: see the Project Wild PDF in Other Resources.

Other Resources

Project Wild | Community Science Inventory Methods PDF