Seasons of a Tree

Silvia Cristina Umaña Martínez

The participants (children, young people and active adults) are distributed in a semicircle, in a clear area. They remain silent and, as the facilitator of the activity reads a script, each one will personify a tree visualizing themselves throughout the four seasons. They will have to move as a tree would according to what they hear.

  • The script that the facilitator of the activity will read
  1. Line up to form semicircles (see illustration in photos and diagrams section). Position yourself, standing, in the areas that have already been marked.
  2. Each one of you, where you are “planted”, is a deciduous tree, which means that its leaves expire or die. This is the type of tree that loses its leaves in the fall and blooms in the spring.
  3. In Mexico, Central America and other tropical regions, the trees are evergreen or evergreen. That means that its leaves remain alive throughout the year and the foliage of the tree always looks green. If we have never experienced the change of seasons, we will have to use our imagination even more. It will be a nice experience “transporting” us to fall, winter, spring and summer.
  4. Some of you are leafy and strong trees, with very thick trunks due to the passing of the years. Others have thinner trunks and more fragile branches.
  5. Trees have different parts; move these parts when you hear them: Roots! Trunk! branches! Sheets! Tree Top!
  6. Listen to the following reading and imagine your tree in each circumstance (read script)
  • For this activity you need a wide and flat area in nature. It is important that all participants have enough distance from each other to act freely.
  • You will decide the number of semicircles you need, according to the number of participants. You will read in front of them so that your voice is heard by all.
  • Before the activity, mark the terrain so that everyone knows where to stand.
  • Have the script at hand, which is the main element of this activity.
  • Rehearse the script before the activity. Read with pleasant intonation, adding emotion, taking dramatic pauses, and turning up the volume of your voice when you find it most theatrically effective.
  • As you read through the script, stay tuned for everyone’s performance. Encourage them to get involved in the narrative, imagining and using their whole body.


It’s summer . I feel that I am growing more, my leaves look green and healthy. Some of my friends who are flowering trees still have their flowers. See you beautiful! We hear the children running and see some playing in comfortable, colorful and light clothing. Some eat and throw away the wrapper! It’s so hot, I’m thirsty. My roots have retained enough moisture between rain and rain. I hope it rains again soon. Thirsty little birds perch on my branches and sing every morning, but then they fly back to fetch water. The sun shines majestically and radiates its warmth.

It is autumn. It’s getting colder all the time. There are days and nights with very strong winds. Now our leaves are constantly moving in the wind, they have taken on different colors: orange, yellow, brown, gold. Many people stop to photograph us, while some children play in the leaves blown by the wind. I’m not growing anymore. Wait! What’s going on? Today there is a terrible wind! My leaves are peeling off! The little birds flee to seek shelter in places where it is warmer and the wind does not make them fall. I’m running out of leaves! The sun is shining but I barely get to feel any warmth.

It is winter . The cold is getting bigger. There have been days when snow falls, snow and more snow. We are fully exposed. I don’t have a single leaf! I’m not growing anymore. Am I going to die? My branches move a lot in the cold wind. The snow brings a respectful silence around us. You can’t hear the birds singing, they’ve gone far away. One or another robin, who are the only ones left, dares to sing from time to time on my snow-covered branches. Our branches feel heavy and saggy. My friends look white, only gusts of wind blow the snow from time to time. The snow is so deep that people do not walk through these places, nor do the animals go out much. The sun shines and reflects on some frozen branches; there’s not even enough heat to melt ice. We all look very sad, like a shadow of what we were.

It’s Spring! Little by little my leaves have been born again. The green is more intense, the flowering trees look more colorful. Not a memory now of the silent days of snow. All kinds of birds come to our branches and make nests. They sing happily all day. People come out and surround us with admiration. It seems incredible to them that we are the same ones who moved without leaves in the wind. In our maximum beauty: roots, trunk, branches, leaves, flowers… we enjoy the splendor of spring and the delicious aroma of this rebirth. The little animals reproduce at this time, we are continually surrounded by this new life. The sun shines bright and warm. The temperature is so nice! Is it possible that after we have come back to life we will be almost dead again, without any leaves again? No! We are alive and move softly and joyfully in the fresh spring breeze!

Double semicircle organizational forms:

Times of a tree (Umaña Martínez, Silvia, 2021)

Double semicircle illustration (Perez, Yeniurca, 2019)

Illustrative Photography (Brumley, Stacy, nd)

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