Magic listening jewels
Noss National Nature Reserve, teaching and activity pack (SNH)
- To focus in on listening to the sounds of the seashore (or any other outdoor space where birds, trees rustling, farm animals etc can be heard)
20 -30 minutes
You will need
- bag of marbles (with lots of colours and swirls) enough for one for everyone (do not do this activity with children under 3 years old)
Before the activity
Think up a story about where and how you found the 'magic listening jewels', which takes into account the setting, is there a ruined cottage an old mine, a recently eroded bit of sea cliff etc!
Take the group to a good listening place, where they can hear the sea and sea birds, the wind and even perhaps seals
Take out the bag of 'jewels' and before giving them out, tell a story about how you became the keeper of the 'jewels'. For example, this is the story the Noss National Nature Reserve warden uses:
There was a magic dragon who lived hundreds of years ago. Baron Hector (a famous knight and dragon slayer) could never catch this particular dragon because of the listening jewels in his ears. One day the Baron gave up trying to catch the dragon, he cried and cried in shame, until the dragon started to feel sorry for him. It ended up that the dragon gave the Baron some magic listening jewels for him to keep, provided that he kept a promise never to hunt any more dragons. After many years of looking after the jewels, enemies attacked the Baron's castle and he hid the jewels in a secret place. Just the other day you were digging up your tatties and you found them! You knew immediately what they were because you had heard the story of the hidden listening jewels....Pan the story out as much as you can so that all the children become quite interested in seeing what is in the bag.....
Hand out one 'jewel' to each child. They will probably just say they are marbles. Ask them to hold them up to the light and to look into them. Do they see a solar system inside the 'jewel'? Now for the magic bit!. Ask your group to stand very still, hold the jewel tightly in their hand, close their eyes and listen. After about 10 seconds, ask them what they heard. You will probably get some really good answers. Repeat the listening a couple of times, if your group is keen.
Language - listening and talking
1 (over 3 years old), 2