Posted by: byhisdesign5 | December 17, 2011

December Nature Study in flip-flops :)

“Can we do another nature study this week in science lab?” This is the question that I got asked by three different kids this week. So guess what we did! We went on a nature walk. While I tried to figure out exactly how to do a “preparing for winter” nature walk, the kids had no problems observing all kinds of fun things.

We discussed the obvious weather issues. It isn’t suppose to be 71 degrees and humid in December. Nor should we be wearing shorts and flip-flops! However, it was! And we were! And everything was wonderful

We took off with binoculars, science lab journals, and a camera. The first thing we spotted was the blue jay. He was flying around the oak trees and finally landed long enough to snap a quick picture.

We think that this little fellow is a barn swallow but are not 100% sure.

We went from observing the tops of the trees to finding words to describe the base of the trees. This one looks like “a big animal claw.”

The girls noticed the ant hill at the base of the tree. And the boys wanted to poke it with a stick. The ants swarmed and provided enough oohs and aahs  that several other kids (not in science lab) came and joined us :)Since the first ant hill was so much fun, these two went searching for more. see, we really are in shorts and…. okay, no flip-flops…. they are barefooted! I had on flip-flops.

Earlier during the day, I had noticed hundreds of moths flying around several of the big trees. I intentionally headed us in that direction to see what we would find. Hundreds…and I mean hundreds…of buck moths. Everywhere! Everyone caught at least one and examined it closely. I overheard one girl state “These are actually kind of cute. Too bad the caterpillars are so hateful. It doesn’t matter how cute the boy is. If he is hateful, he is out of here!” And she let the buck moth go. To the best of my knowledge, no buck moth was harmed in this adventure.

Well the co-op is finished until after the new year. The kids have enjoyed the nature studies so much that I think we will continue to have them once a month. Any advice on how to direct 19 kids on a nature walk would be helpful. I want them to be able to explore and come up with their own learning opportunities, but I also feel like I need to give them some guidelines and directions.

Journey on! Get outside and enjoy all of God’s amazing creations!!

Check out Barb at The Handbook of Nature Study for lots of great ideas!

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Responses

  1. Flip flops and shorts! That sounds so wonderful to me right now as I am bundled up. I really enjoyed seeing your “science lab” with the various observations you made. The moths are very pretty…something new to me.
    19 kids on a nature walk? That is a lot…try reading the first section of the Handbook of Nature Study since it was written by ABC to teachers guiding classes of kids outside. You may glean some ideas…mostly to prepare them for what they are to be looking for ahead of time and keep the actual amount of time your are observing to be a few minutes and then let them wander and explore. I look forward to seeing how it goes!

  2. Okay, now that is just not fair! LOL We are bundled up here in the mountains! The kids and I love to take walks. Amazing how observant the kids are!

  3. We have been in t-shirts with unseasonably warm weather too. Now Southern California doesn’t get too cold but usually we have jackets on by now. What is it about kids and ants? They sure love to watch them, poke them….

  4. That is odd, your weather in December being so warm! I loved what they said about the moths :)


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