The World Beneath Your Feet

Lisa Anderson-Umaña

Participants select a space of their own in an area of the lawn and mark it with a ribbon or string, about one foot in diameter in a circle or any geometric figure of their choice. They lie down to closely observe only what they find in this area. They are then provided with a magnifying glass or rolled up paper to take a closer look at the world beneath their feet.

  • One magnifying glass for every two participants *Watch a video with instructions on how to make a homemade magnifying glass in Additional Resources
  • A piece of thread or ribbon of approx. 2 feet long. per person.
  • One sheet of paper and pencil per person
  • One clipboard per person
  1. Take the magnifying glass that was given to each of you, your clipboard, pencil, sheet of paper, and piece of string.
  2. Find your space and place the yarn in the shape of a square or circular, as you like. Do not move it once it is placed.
  3. First, without using the magnifying glass, your task is to count the number of insects and other objects within this frame.
  4. On the sheet describe their shape, size, and the quantity found.
  5. With your fingers search the earth. How many inches do you have to dig until you meet the ground?
  6. Also, on the other side of the paper, draw what you discovered in this world under your feet.
  7. Then, repeat the same steps using the magnifying glass. Observe the differences.
  • Beforehand, make sure that the area you choose to explore has plenty of insects and interesting features on the ground. (It cannot be a concrete or gravel road or a road without grass or weeds).
  • Have all the materials on hand to demonstrate what you want the group to do. Then give the materials to your assistants to hand out once they arrive in the field.
  • If the group is very large, divide them into small groups with an assistant to lead and supervise them.
  • In addition to the activity director, make sure there is at least one assistant to help hand out materials and support participants.
  • It should be mentioned that they should not touch the insects so that they do not get bitten.
  • You should have a first aid kit in case someone is allergic to wasp stings or other insect bites.
  • Find out in advance if someone has allergies to stings so you can find an alternative activity for them.
  • In case you are doing this activity with very young children 2-3 years old, this article provides you with good modifications: Watching the grass closely for 2-3 year olds(Chitwood, 2010).
Anderson-Umaña, L. M. (2022). Grass. In Collection of Activities for Exploring Nature. Christian Camping International, Latin America.

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