Each kid should bring a rock with them when they come in. The rock should be able to fit in their hand. It can be small like a pebble or as large as a tennis ball, but smaller ones are easier to carry.
The kids don’t know what the rock is for yet.
The kids sit in a circle in a quiet place outdoors. It could be in the woods.
Each kid is asked to make up an imaginary story about their rock and its life. It can be very silly or serious. The rock can have a name or it can have no name. Each kid tells a story to the group, and the story should be short, about 3 sentences or maybe 20 seconds long.
Once everyone has told their rock’s story, it’s time to listen…
The kids each flick their rock with their finger and try to hear its sound. Everything in the world has a natural frequency that it vibrates at. Each kid tries to find the natural frequency of their rock. It will be very hard to hear it. They should try to sing the note they hear to themselves and sustain it. If they really can’t hear any tone from hitting the rock, they can use their imagination. After about a minute, everyone has more or less found the natural (or imaginary) frequency of their rock, and each kid sings their rock’s tone. All of the kids sing at the same time, holding their own note, and the volume gets louder and louder. It should sound like a choir of rocks, maybe there is some harmony or maybe it sounds awful. They sing all together for about two minutes, holding their notes as long as they can and keeping it going. Each kid should hold up their rock in their open hand and watch closely to see if all of the singing makes it vibrate and shake. Maybe it will. Pay attention.
The kids all go to an open area, preferably a big field.
Everyone stands in a line facing the open field with some space between them.
Being VERY CAREFUL, all of the kids throw their rocks out into the field as far as they can. Wait until everyone has thrown theirs. Once everyone has thrown, each kid tries to remember the tone of their own rock and sing it. Once a kid is singing their note, they can go forward and try to locate their own rock. Maybe the singing will help to guide them to their rock. All of the kids hunt for their rock and the activity is over when everyone has found their own. Any disagreements over whose rock is whose can be solved by singing the tone.
This exercise was contributed by Christopher Kline (http://www.christopher-kline.com).