Manual exercises

Field Kits equip people to engage in exploration.

The Planetary Home Care Manual we are co-developing will collect guiding support for engaging in planetary home care: In the Anthropocene, how do we live on earth together as if we intended to stay here?

Individual Manual Exercise, Round 1 (4 x 25 points = 100 points; 10% of course grade all together) -- options: pick 4, read the accompanying reading, post one on the appropriate Manual Exercises page by the end of each of the four full weeks in September -- remember to make sure that the file is shared, and also please share it in the Canvas assignment for that day.

Starting level (more detail and accompanying readings in the drop-down menu):

Why sketch? Join Inktober, and draw and share three observational sketches (each should take ~1 hour)

Understanding Comics Read the selection from Scott McCloud’s book and draw a comic of at least 20 panels

How to Make Radio That’s Good Read the good radio excerpt on This American Life and record and edit a 5 minute sound piece built on a storyboard that incorporates at least 20 panels

Energy Traces: document at least three patterns in the environment as you encounter them in at least three different settings. Combine your documentation (in any medium) with analysis of what you think the energy traces are revealing about the forces that leave these traces.

Next level (choose no more than two of these, and consider how to illustrate the text compellingly):

Drawing on the course materials (i.e. including direct quotes from at least 3-5 sources), write a one page essay on how you get and sustain your energy.

Drawing on the course materials (i.e. including direct quotes from at least 3-5 sources), write a one page essay on how you heal in different domains that may create injuries and traumas.

Drawing on the course materials (i.e. including direct quotes from at least 3-5 sources), write a one page essay on how you build the skills to take just enough.

Open Draw/ YOUR choice (option to include as one of the four):

Design an assignment for yourself that demonstrates what you have to offer a group.

Group Manual, Round 1: (Points: 100 / 10% of final course grade)

AFTER the individual assignments, the first field kits we will develop in class groups in the Planetary Home Care Manual course will provide guidance for conversations about how to collaboratively explore WasteLessness and other forms of resourcefulness. The group manual is due by the end of October. It is worth 50 points: 10 points each for quality of turns as assignment manager, information design manager, and research process manager; 10 points for additional role; 10 points for manual quality. In addition, your reflection in response to the prompt below is also worth 50 points.)

Steps: In 4 rounds of 30 minutes of work (i.e. four parts of class periods), members of your group will rotate between the different managerial roles.

Proposed project groups' focus:


  • WasteLess:


  • 1- City of Garbage (sculpture): Sarah*, Emily H, Natalie, Madison, Hannah
  • 2 - MN Sustainability Through Digital Arts: Javi, Anna, Jackson, Adrianna
  • 3 - Minimizing Medical Waste: Erin, Sophie, Mary, Kallie, Taylor
  • 4 - Burger Breakdown: Trinity, Aric, Jacob, Abby
  • 5 - Face Your Waste: Theo, Aly, Adele, Anika, Rowan, Bryce, Melanie, Jordan, Kyrsten
  • 7 - Trash Stache/Weighed down by Waste: Nick, Grace (asked for reflection), Ian, Richard, Stefan
  • 8 - Campus Wide Compost: Owen, Brayden, Maria, Shelby and Helen, carrying out implementation of survey
  • 9 Track Your Trash: Samantha, Cristina (partial reflection), Parker, Emily E., Yuan
  • 10 Water Bottles: Kaylie, Zach, Tessa, Julia


  • non-presentation form for obligatory, familiar settings: Summer, Nathan, Trevor, Erik, Jackie (game)
  • sci-fi / speculative fiction: Alexa, Andrew, Samantha, Annie (story - Wednesday)
  • animals and plants: Lauren, Lupita, Kalley, Dylan, Amanda (maps)
  • historical review of approaches to climate change: Makenzie, Laura, Thomas, Taylor, Jack (stories & survey)
  • interactive with children: Emma, Sydney, Gabriel, Caleb, Hannah (lesson plan - Wednesday)

Round 1: Decide on how you will organize the remaining three rounds, in terms of the work to be achieved in each and the rotation between roles.

Round 2:

Round 3:

Round 4:

Assignment manager

  • fills out assignment sheet
  • keeps time
  • creates and manages completion plan

Information design manager:

  • organizes collected information with permissions, etc., as needed
  • coordinates decisions about how to present, layout, etc.

Research process manager:

  • coordinates appropriate methods for collecting information
  • assigns research and documentation roles
  • connects assignment to readings (for example, Audre Lorde’s treatment of rage, terror, dis-ease, or Alison Spodek Keimowitz on grief and breathing)

Round 1 Reflection on group process 50 points: 5 points for your analysis of the function of each of the roles; 30 points for your reflection on the effectiveness of your manual as a functional guide for discussing/learning about WasteLessness

Reflection: How would you describe the function of each of your peers in each of their managerial roles?

  • assignment manager 1
  • assignment manager 2
  • assignment manager 3
  • assignment manager 4
  • information design manager 1
  • information design manager 2
  • information design manager 3
  • information design manager 4
  • research process manager 1
  • research process manager 2
  • research process manager 3
  • research process manager 4
  • other role _________________ 1
  • other role _________________ 2
  • other role _________________ 3
  • other role _________________ 4

In 150-200 words, please provide a thorough evaluation of the effectiveness of your manual as a functional guide for exploring WasteLessness:

Round 2

Assignment: as with the prior project, we will do individual exercises that build up toward a group project. Now that you’ve had the experience of carrying out one group project that you set the terms for, you have more of a sense of how it might be helpful to use your individual projects as building blocks for the kind of final project you most want to build.

There will be four major differences between the first round and the second round of assignments:

1. First, you will choose 2 of the prompts below (instead of 4); these will each be worth 50 points/5% of your course grade.

2. This time, we are not pre-setting which medium you use to explore which prompt, but as with the prior project, I encourage you to stretch yourself toward your learning edge and toward diverse modes of exploration by relying on writing only minimally in addressing these prompts.

3. I will have a much smaller (coaching and guiding) role in choosing groups: we will use the “open space technology” method for each proposing the kinds of final projects we want to build toward, holding space for discussing and planning those projects, then forming a manageable number of project groups.

4. And you will be working on the two individual projects WHILE you develop the final group project (instead of before), encouraging you to use your individual projects as building blocks for the group project. Please turn in your two exercises in November, and plan to present your group project during the last two weeks of class.

As with the first round of projects, a significant part of the grade will be allocated to your reflection on the processes of collaboration and project development.

Round 2 Group Manual (Points: 100 / 10% of final course grade)

Round 2 Group Manual 50 points: 15 points each for quality of participation in TWO separate roles of your choosing; 20 points for manual quality

Reflection on group process 50 points: 15 points each for your analysis of the function of ONE of the roles you played, and the most challenging additional role played by someone else in your group; 20 points for your reflection on the effectiveness of your manual as a functional guide for living on the planet together. Since we did not set roles, there's some chance that the role reflection feels forced -- so I'm also providing an alternative prompt based on the movement work we've done in the past few weeks (for 30 points, in addition to your reflection on the effectiveness of your manuals): Reflect on where you feel fully mobile in group process -- where you feel fully present in your body, and able to use your body flexibly and appropriately to address the possibilities and challenges of the group process -- and where, in contrast, you feel yourself freeze up or stiffen somewhere. When you stiffen, how does it shift the way that you exert effort? (For example, if you shoulders get tight with stress, does that change the way you use your head or neck, or your arms or fingers or the way you bend at the waist or are able to stay upright to breathe fully?) How can you find full mobility again, so that the effort of movement is shared across your body? How can noticing these dynamics also help the group process outside your body?

Individual manual exercise prompts (as with prior round, see the corresponding sub-pages in the drop down menu for the place to share your completed -- or in progress -- exercises -- these are due before the end of October)(Points: 50 points each x 2 = 100 / 10% of final course grade)

How do you create movement of the sort you want to see or participate in? Please consider “movement” literally and socially (how do you “dance in public?”).

What kind of “maintenance work” do you engage in, in social contexts, particularly, in order to deal with pain, disappointment, and confusion?

What are social conditions that encourage you to grow -- and support you to be able to learn from challenges, particularly the kinds of challenges that involve frustration and dissatisfaction in public, shared settings?

How do we thank people for coming in to social movements we participate in? How do we extend appreciation and gratitude in ways they can feel, without demanding that others put effort into our thanksgiving practices?

How do we not take offense when our expectations are frustrated or our contributions don’t work out? How do we engage in concession and negotiation?

Sit spot: dress warmly, and go sit outside with your back against a tree for at least two periods of a half hour, just noticing. Sit with your eyes closed when you can. After each sitting session, journal about your experience for at least ten minutes (in words, drawings, etc.): what did you notice? What did you experience?

And, as with the first round, you have the option to create one assignment prompt of you own choosing.

Group Manual Projects


Death Over Dinner: Anika, Aric, Richard, Melanie, Erin, Mary, Kallie, Ian, Theo, Bryce, Aly, Jordan, Shelby

Campus Activism Kit & Manual (why, how, and self-care): Parker (collaboration), Emily E., Nick (middle), Javi (4-6), Samantha, Zach (4-6), Owen, Sophie (p2-3), Cristina, Taylor (opening), Adele (press release)

Athletics Sustainability: Trinity, Hannah, Jackson, Madison, Natalie, Kyrsten, Kaylie, Abby, Tessa, Emily H., Sarah, Julia: events

Pocket Sized Outdoor Exploration manual (in winter): Grace, Maria, Adrianna, Anna, Rowan, Stefan, Brayden, Jacob, Helen, Yuan

    • Mental vs Physical Health - Rowan and Helen
    • Activities - Brayden and Maria
    • What to wear/bring - Jacob
    • Car Kit - Adrianna
    • Guiding Questions -


Garden Manual: Samantha, Jack

Silence Flipbook: Lupita, Annie, Laura, Andrew, Sydney, Taylor

Identity Conversations: Thomas, Amanda, Erik, Gabriel

Comfort Exploring (being lost): Emma, Anna, Caleb, Trevor, Kalley, Nathan

Asking for Emotional Support: Lauren, Makenzie, Jackie, Alexa

Familiar CCC field kit


Speculative CCC field kit


Plants and Animals CCC field kit

Plants & Animals

Historical CCC field kit


Children CCC field kit


Climate Change Conversation Manuals

Weirding Environmental Studies by Dancing in Public