Land, Environmental, Earth art


2-3 hours

Learning objectives:

a) produce unique performative and photographic, artistic creations using materials from their natural surroundings,

b) craft visual representations through observations of the natural environment,

c) reflecting their understanding of and their relationship with their natural surroundings.

Description of the learning processes and activities:

The activity presented here derives from the research paper by Daranou and Karlsen (2023) where kindergarten children engaged in land art activities near a shoreline/beach in Norway, close to an existing shipwreck. The activity can be adjusted and tailored to fit the local contexts and natural surroundings (e.g., forests).
The activity aims to provide the opportunity for young children to craft artistic creations using materials from their natural surroundings. Visiting a nearby natural location, such as the shoreline/beach, allows children to explore an outdoor space with the teacher's support freely. Teachers can utilise storytelling to recast a natural/local event (e.g., in this particular example, the shipwreck's story was shared with the students), creating further bonds and connections to bring the children closer to the place. The children use cameras to take pictures of things they like in the environment and collect natural materials, such as stones and shells, aiming to create something out of them. For instance, they can make drawings on the sand and create shapes using stones or sticks based on what they experience (e.g., what they see, hear and smell from nature). By documenting the landscape and/or its natural objects students generate meaning and draw their own interpretations about their place in the world and their relationship with the environment, visualising and expressing their perspectives regarding nature.

Other organisations involved:

UiT The Arctic University of Norway
Local kindergarten is non-disclosed for anonymity purposes

Resources required:

Natural materials, Cameras

More information:

Dardanou, M., & Karlsen, B. (2023). Children’s participation in documentation processes in local outdoor spaces. Journal of Childhood, Education & Society, 4(3), 249–260.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Other remarks:

This activity can be adapted for older students and align with the OTTER Labs, especially in the “discover” stage, followed by data analysis or reflection on young students' drawings, emotions and experiences in nature.