Jogo Behaviour Support Blog

Positive Behaviour and Education Services Supporting Children, Young People and Families


The Tree of Wisdom  Monday, 21 August 2017


The Tree of Wisdom  
(adapted from Kings Meadow School 2005, Primary Behaviour Curriculum, Kings Meadow School, Northampton)

This creative visualisation is a great activity for enabling children and young people to think about things that are troubling them, but also to come up with their own ideas about how to resolve them.   It draws on their imagination and their coping resources to help answer their complicated question. 

Encourage the children and young people to find a place to sit or lie.  Ask them to get their body comfortable and to get rid of any fidgets. 
Look into your mind’s eye and today we are going on a journey.  Firstly you see a pathway.  It can look like any path that you want it to be.  It can be big or small, wide or narrow; it might be grassy or pebbly, covered in little flowers or even by the sea.

I want you to walk along this path, but just think for a moment, have you any sad feelings or worries?  If you do look down and you will see a little rabbit hole.

Leave your worries with the worry rabbit; he will take care of them for you so that they cannot trouble you on your journey.  Make sure that you give all of them to him now.  I will wait a moment. 

Continue along your path.  Do you see any obstacles like twigs or stones?  Move them very gently out of the way as you go. 

Carry on walking, taking in the scents and smells around you.  Now look ahead there is a wall almost as tall as a castle.  Walk towards it and you can see a door made of smooth dark wood.  Touch your door and feel that the sun has made it warm.  Look around your door do you see anything growing there it?  Maybe there are some tiny white scented flowers or green shiny leaves with flowers of the colour that you like best of all.  Brush your hand over the door lock and push very gently.  The magic in your hands has opened it wide.

Walk through your beautiful garden and feel that the sun is very warm on your hair.  You can hear the birds chirping and singing as they go about their business.  The smells are stronger today because it rained overnight and the sun is warming the damp plants.

Follow your path, there is a stream running alongside and you can hear the water trickling over the pebbles.  The water is singing gently to you.
Gradually you come to a large round grassy area and right in the centre there is the biggest Horse Chestnut tree that you have ever seen.  It reaches far out of your eyesight.  There are lots of shiny conkers on the ground but you choose to walk by them because you have something that you are thinking about.  It is a question in your mind.

The bottom of the tree has a massive trunk that joins the ground and in the bottom of the trunk are a number of archways that are hollowed out.  You choose an archway to walk through and your body fits through the space just right. 

You find another path as your eyes get used to the dark.  You walk along the path until you get right to the centre of the tree.  Then you stand and slowly turn in a circle because just in front of your there are some doors with names on the outside.  Someone has very thoughtfully left a candle for you so that you can read the names above the doors.  Each door has the name of a wise owl on it.  There is the Eagle Owl with his pointed ears, the Little Owl that is as tall as a milk bottle, the Barn Owl with his handsome white chest, the Tawny Owl that has quite a large head but is very, very soft, and lastly the Short Eared Owl that has kind yellowy eyes. All of the owls have kindly faces and stand very still waiting behind their doors.  All of them are wise and able to answer the most complicated questions, so you think for a moment before you choose which door to open.  Then in you go to talk privately to your owl closing the door softly behind you. (Wait a few moments to give the children thinking time)

When you have finished, and you have the answer, thank the wise owl and leave through the door.

Follow the path that bought you to the owl’s room and go back to the archway.  Squeeze through the archway and blink your eyes for a moment or two because of the warm, bright sunshine.  Pick up a conker if you want to.

Walk back alongside the musical stream and follow the path to the edge of your garden.

Get ready to leave your garden.  Thank your garden for being there just for you and slowly walk back through the door.  Close the door.  Brush your hand over the lock and close it with your magic touch.  Stroke the warm wood of the door and turn and face the path.  Walk back along the path seeing all of the things that you saw on the way to your garden.  Now just wait quietly and smell the smells of the classroom.  Feel the floor beneath you.  Open your eyes and take in the furniture in the room.  And gently turn and sit up.  Remember though, in your mind, you still have your arms full of your garden.

Now ask the children/young people to draw or write their complicated question and then write what the owl said to them.