Earth dwellers

A two day programme for Key Stage 2 ( School Years 4, 5, & 6 ).

A letter has been found from the “earth dweller” teaching the secrets of life on earth, but over time these secrets have been lost. Can you rediscover them and pass them on once again?

Complete with ideas for follow up activities this programme is based on the principles and practice of “earth education”.

This exciting programme of earth education activities has been designed by Wild Things . Similar programmes are being provided at centres all over the country.

Earth Dwellers is designed:

a) to nurture respect for the natural world through lots of first hand contact.
b) to teach the concepts of; energy flow through the environment, the cycling of all matter, the interdependency of all living things, and the change in an environment over time.
c) the adventure encourages participants to examine how we can all play an important role in acting more responsibly in our environment.
d) to act as a powerful “spring board” experience” to encourage further learning and action back in the class room, club, or at home.


The children are sent a battered and faded manuscript from an Earth Dweller of the past. The manuscript is a message to the people of the future, passing on “secrets” of how the earth works so people can understand and live in harmony with natural processes. Some of the key words are so faded that the message cannot be read and understood. The children are invited to take part in the Earth Dwellers adventure to solve the mystery.

1. Arrival. The scene is set in the woods as the children are told that over the last few hundred years people have forgotten these secrets of life. Because of this, the Earth, it’s people, and other species are in grave danger. The challenge is to rediscover the lost secrets of the earth dweller, and once again act on them and share them with other people.

2. Munch Line Monitors. The first task that the group faces is to complete their Munch Line Monitor Training in Mother Nature’s Munch Room. The group learn how all munch lines (food chains) start at the sun, and can involve sun-munchers (green plants), plant-munchers, and animal munchers. They load special munch trays up with evidence of munching and learn how energy decreases as it moves through the food chain. They then put together food chains using evidence left to them in munch bags, from animals such as the fox and the weasel. After looking at some examples of what can happen to munch lines when poison enters the food chain, the group all become qualified munch line monitors.

3. The Great Spec-tackle. The group learn about the three basic kinds of specks (molecules); air, water and soil, the molecules that make up everything and that are recycled and used over and over again. They are lead to Speck Trail Junction where with guide books they follow the paths of some air, water and soil specks, whose journey’s take them to some unexpected places, including a grave stone! By the time they leave Speck Trail Junction, they have learnt about the great cycles of life and have even seen some water that Florence Nightingale drank, breathed some air that Henry the Eight breathed and have pinched a speck of a dinosaur!

4. Connection Inspection. The group are met by the Connector Inspector, who explains that nothing can exist by itself-everything is connected to other things in the web of life. The group all then become different plants and animals, and according to their needs, connect themselves into the web, creating the habitat of a lake. When the Connector Inspector decides to put some weed killer on his garden next to the lake, the lake dwellers discover that doing just one small thing can have huge consequences!

5. Time Capsules. The group have learnt about the flow of energy and the cycling of materials, and now they need to discover nine hidden time capsules to find out how everything is constantly changing. The Earth Dweller from the past has left them each a map and the hunt begins. When the nine capsules have been found the group opens them to discover that each one contains evidence from a different era in the past, and place their capsules along a time line. The last time capsule contains two letters from the future, and the group takes the letters to the closing ceremony to read them.

6. The Closing Ceremony. The letters are from two different possible futures, one where people have re-learnt the lost secrets of life on earth and one where people have continued ignoring the way the Earth works. Each letter has a key to a box which contains the last lost message that the group must learn before they can become fully qualified Earth Dwellers. There is a concluding conference where they can talk about changes they could make, and the adventure ends with the group going home with a pack that will help them to continue exploring.

Earth Walks. Throughout the two day adventure, a series of sensory activities are used to explore the woodland, from different perspectives.

Evaluation comments for Earth Dwellers:

-“They were very well structured days with a great range of activities that were well balanced - thinking activities, active sessions, quiet moments ... They thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.” ( Greenwood Primary )

-“ I’m going to ask my Mum and Dad if we can recycle things”
( Greenwood Primary )

-“I can’t recommend this group too highly ...”
( Environmental Youth Worker for Nottinghamshire )