What’s in the bag?
This activity will “open your eyes” to the amount of detailed information you can discover about the surfaces of objects, without looking – just through your fingertips.
You will need:
An assortment of small objects, with interestingly textured parts – at least one object per student. (Objects might include, for example, a nailbrush or old toothbrush, a dried lemon, beaded bracelet, used cake of soap, piece of bath sponge, pot scourer, rubber glove, small pine cone, bottle tops, and so on. Choose objects that have interesting forms as well, such as a piece of fruit, a chess piece, clock, purse, seed pods, baby shoes, small toys; but nothing too sharp, fragile or flat.)
About six or seven opaque (not transparent) bags – shopping bags or small pillowcases would work well.
- Divide into groups of between six and ten. Each group stands in a circle and close your eyes. It is important that you cannot see the objects inside the bag – do not peep!
- Each group will receive a bag of objects. The bag is passed from person to person around your group, in silence, all eyes still shut.
- When the bag is passed to you, put your hand into the bag (still not looking!). Feel the objects, allowing yourself to become aware of the specific quality of each tactile experience. Try to identify each object just through touch.
- Remember each touch sensation, because afterwards you will be asked to describe that feeling in writing. (This will help extend your art vocabulary)
To the Teacher
Prepare well in advance. The list of objects will take some time for you and the students to collect together.