My Memorable Tree

Silvia Cristina Umaña Martínez

Each participant will take a moment to remember a tree that has been significant in their life story and draw it. On the drawing, you will write why it was a special tree. Then you will share it with your group and explain which part of the tree you enjoyed the most at that time. Some will say that they studied facing the sea, leaning against a palm tree that gave them shade, which means that they enjoyed the trunk and branches.

  • a blank sheet
  • pencil or marker
  • A clipboard for each participant (or something to support the sheet)
  1. Sit down and listen carefully to a story… (Facilitator tells about his memorable tree).
  2. Just as you have heard about a special tree, chances are that every person will come across a memorable tree at least once in their life. Take a moment to remember which tree was yours, why it was significant, and what that tree was like. You have two minutes to think about it.
  3. While they think about it, they will receive some blank sheets of paper and pencils so that they can also draw it. Wait for the prompt to start drawing at the same time.
  4. On the sheet you just received, draw your memorable tree as accurately as you can. It does not matter that they are not cartoonists, any drawing will be perfect, what matters are their memories.
  5. On that same sheet, describe, in a few words, three things: how that tree was significant, what stage of its life it was in, and what part of your tree you enjoyed the most. They have 5 minutes to draw their picture and write on their sheet. Go ahead!
  6. On the count of three everyone will hold up their leaves to get a general idea of what their memorable trees were like. Look how many trees of different shapes and sizes! There are some that resemble each other.
  7. Now, get together with two more partners and share with them the three written facts about your memorable tree (the facilitator can refresh your memory on what these three facts are).
  8. Take 2 minutes each to share. When they hear this sound (the facilitator demonstrates for them to identify it) it will be the next person’s turn to share. They will also hear this sound when the third person needs to finish.
  9. Don’t forget to bring your drawing. Very good work! Keep cultivating your relationship with the trees. They can get up.
  • Think of a time in your life when a particular tree became important.
  • Draw a picture of your tree to show the group.
  • Tell (in 2 minutes) the story of your tree and tell them why it occupies an important place in your memories. Show your drawing while you narrate.
  • Explain which part of your tree you enjoyed the most. That way, when they need to share, they’ll also be specific about a part of their memorable tree.
  • How enthusiastic your campers feel will depend a lot on how you present this activity to them. Strive to make your body language and facial expressions convey joy and excitement as you evoke your own memories.
  • Take them to a place where they can sit comfortably, remember and draw.
  • Remember to bring enough blank sheets of paper and pencils to hand out.
  • They will have 5 minutes to draw and write briefly about their tree.
  • Let them know when the 5 minutes are up.
  • Depending on the ages of the participants, you decide if they themselves have the ability to choose two people from the group to share with them about their tree or if it is better for you to divide them into groups of three.
  • Let them know that you will use a particular sound to tell them when it is the next person’s turn. It can be a bell, a spoon on a bottle, a drum roll, a whistle. Make it clear that they will hear the same sound when the third person has to finish their story.
  • Take time to walk among them and listen to what they say, when they are telling their story to each other. Some stories will surprise you!

My memorable tree (Umaña Martinez, Silvia, 2021c)

Pencil Illustration of a Tree (Lavatican, nd)

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