Natural history deepened my understanding of the environment around me.
Earlier I would look at a tree or a spider and call it ‘beautiful’, but as we wrote poems and jotted down the intricate details of the different elements in our immediate environment, I felt more empowered. Empowered, to be able to express what I was seeing and observing all this time
Different activities opened up new possibilities of looking at things we live with.
One of the activities we did was, writing down factual details of a tree of our choice,
including it’s height, texture of leaves, width of the trunk and so on. I wasn’t very sure how long ‘a feet’ is, and therefore I was struggling quite a bit. Then one of my friends suggested that I take another object as a unit measurement. I then took the school building’s height as a reference to estimate the tree’s height I was observing.
My favourite activity was the one where we observed a tree or any other organism and sketched it. Every time I sketched something, the intricacies become more and more evident. What had earlier appeared quite plain and usual, now, had surprising. little attributes to it that I hadn’t noticed before.
Another activity that I found quite interesting was writing a poem about one of the trees I was observing.
- First we were told to write the down primary words that appear to our minds when we describe that tree. When I wrote them down and went back, I was told –
- ‘Very nice! Now, write a poem without using any of these words’. I was surprised and disappointed that I was barred from using ‘that’ fine set of words I had come up with.
But as I started writing, a new set of words emerged, some of them slowly began to rhyme and the whole thing eventually look the shape of a poem.
Overall, Natural history helped me articulate what I see, better and to a pay more attention to what I see around myself.
– Hrittika, a student