Story Seekers

At this station, you’ll focus on a natural object and get inside it’s story. Using your senses and imagination you’ll do a free writing session about the object. What stories do natural objects have to share? How can you develop your special nature listening skills to tell their stories? What can we share and learn from nature’s stories?


Build an awareness of nature and your connection to it through storytelling and listening. With awareness and appreciation for the natural world, students are able to imagine a new future for nature and themselves.


  • Collection of natural objects (or if virtual each students brings their own object to share)
  • Markers or pencils for writing
  • Scrap paper for writing
  • Activity Instruction Sheet (optional) click to download


  1. FIND OBJECT : Give students 60 secs to find an object within proximity that connects them to nature. 
  2. SENSORY EXPLORATION OF OBJECT : Holding objects in hand, guide participants in a Sensory Exploration of the object–Read the questions below out loud to participants while they silently write about  their object and exploring its layers and stories:

Senses: How does it….?

Look (color, size, form) 

Feel (temperature, texture–hard/soft), 

Smell (pleasant/unpleasant?  Does it connect you to a memory?), 

Sound (silent/loud?), 

Taste (Is there one? If so, is it sweet, sour, bitter, salty, earthy?) 

Where might this object have been before it came to you?

Where might this object go next?

Is there a memory or memories you associate with this object?

Look at it from different angles — perhaps see or hold it from a different angle than usual 

4.REFLECT ON OBSERVATIONS  Take1 minute to reflect/write down what stuck out for you in your exploration. There will not be time  to write a whole story, but there may be special observations you want to capture on paper. Note anything that surprised you. In a moment, you’ll be invited to share 1 observation with the group. 


In pairs or in a whole group (if the group size is small enough to permit) 

Ask for a student to share one of their favorite details or observations.  This could be a line they wrote or a question they asked themselves, or just a delicious description.


  • How did it feel to listen deeply to nature?  What was it like for you?
  • What was it like to share your writing or ideas with others?
  • What was it like to listen to your friends sharing?
  • Where do stories come from?  How can you find more stories in nature?
  • You’ve got all the skills now of a Story Seeker.  How would you teach your friend or your parents how to be a Story Seeker?  Why would it be good for them to try it?


This activity does not need adaptation to work online / virtually.

If additional time is available (like classroom setting) have students extend their writing into a short story with illustrations and have an Author’s Chair reading event where students share the short stories.

Activity Source

Patty Freedman, Catharine Frels & Paige Deist

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About this activity…







5-15 minutes