Exploring seeds in the Paper Garden

For many years now, Global Generation has in many different ways, been working with the underlying philosophy of ‘I, We and the Planet.’ Particularly, I would say, in the realm of educating children and young people. But what do these sessions look like in practice and what are some of its outcomes?   

Last week I was delighted to work with nine children aged between 9 and 11 from St Johns school in Canada Water. The aim of the session was to write with depth and sensitivity about nature and in so doing reflect the underlying philosophy of ‘I, We and the Planet.’ In this work, we try and enable children and young people to connect with the underlying rhythms and patterns of nature. This is all done within the overarching aim that students develop a deeper and more positive appreciation of: -

‘I’ – who they are

‘We’  - their interactions with others

‘Planet’ – the Earth as a whole

For this particular session, we followed up with the practical and arts work we had done around seeds. After discussing our previous sessions, I showed the children some seeds inside a freshly cut apple and pepper. I showed them some different sized, shaped and coloured seeds that my sister had collected and sent to us for the Paper Garden from her own organic garden in Devon. I then asked the students what characteristics or ‘values’ they felt they shared with seeds! We watched a time-lapse video of a sunflower seed growing from its beginnings underground, to being in its full glory with luscious yellow petals and seeds, until it finally withers and dies. The children imaginatively identified many qualities or characteristics that they shared with seeds and plants.

I then asked them, to write the journey of a seed, as if they themselves were that seed. After they had finished, I read through their work. I was thrilled and excited by the depth and sensitivity they had expressed! Below are a couple of examples of the groups creative endeavors. I hope that you enjoy them and gain a sense – of one of the may ways - that Global Generation’s ‘I, We and the Planet’ approach can be expressed.   

Under the weather-beaten ground, I lay. My fragile little body waiting for the right time to release all the things that have been crammed up inside of me from the day I fell out of my carrier. Finally, the time has come.

I burst open, a long, fragile stem breaking through the moist thick earth. Leaves sprouted and thrived peacefully, in the undergrowth.

I was ecstatic at the prospect of becoming a tall, lush flower. My petals appeared delicate and small. Carried along by the ever-growing stem as it made its way out of the under-growth and into the cold, empty stretch of grassland.

Wind made me sway back and forth as I reached up and up towards the bright blue cloudless sky. My mission had been fulfilled.  Laila   

As my delicate body lay low in the undergrowth, a sensation starts to flood through me. I knew it was the time to become a sunflower. My transparent roots began to tingle and then started to move towards the outside world. I began to move and with all my might and strength, I plopped outside into the gleaming daylight.

I was beginning to transform. As I began to grow, strength and determination flood through my roots. I felt powerful as if I could take on anything in the world. I was developing into a flower at last, this was my time to shine.

Shooting up towards the sun, I was growing taller and taller. Leaves grew against me, I was tight and compressed in. The bumpy leaves were quite annoying but all I could think about was turning into a beautiful golden flower.

Suddenly, petals began to spring out of nowhere, it was like magic. A wave of excitement flooded through me. My flower had grown and now I was beautiful. This is my journey. Ellie