After explorying the Handbook of Nature Study blog, I decided to incorporate nature study into our co-op science lab. I was a little worried that some of the boys would find it too boring. After all, how can science be fun if we aren’t blowing up anything. Well, I was pleasantly surprised that they all seemed to enjoy themselves. One of the boys said that he thought we should do it every week 🙂
We started with a Bible lesson. I gave each of the kids a copy of Genesis 1. They were instructed to read the chapter and circle anything that a scientist would study. Heavens, earth, living creators, beast, creeping things, stars…. You get the idea.
Then we began our walk. Oh the exciting things that God created.
We noticed that while some of the nature is going into a winter state some of it is blooming. We are going to have to investigate why some of the plants have buds and flowers when it is December. I know that we live in the South and certain plants can handle some cooler weather, but I didn’t think they would be budding/blooming now. I am glad that the kids realized that I have as much to learn as they do because I just couldn’t answer the question. Guess I will be doing some research before the next science lab.
Love the little oak trees coming out of the ground underneath the big oaks.
During our walk, we did notice that there were not any birds around. We decided that they must have all migrated despite the warmer than normal temperatures. We also noticed that the sky was completely cloudless – glad I did not decide to the a weather/cloud study.
Not far into our walk, the boys found a dead squirrel. YUCK!! Although several ran to it, no one picked it up. One of the landscapers on the seminary campus heard the commotion and came to dispose of it. Of course, I got several requests to dissect it.
Each kid was given a bag to put things that they find. Many were filled and busting by the end of the lab. Some of the things that they found included spanish moss, palm tree bark, an assortment of leaves, a small bone of some type, acorns, flower petals, different type of grasses, and much more. I did instruct them not to put any live (or dead) insects in their bags. I hope that none of the other moms are upset with me because of the objects their children brought home 🙂
We caught a buck moth. These little creatures turn into stinging, black caterpillars in the spring.
Notice the wide variety of clothing. We have some in sweaters and boots, and some are in shorts and barefooted. You just never know what the weather is going to be like. The ones that had on jackets had removed them by the end of the nature walk.
Then each kid picked one thing that they found to make a journal entry. Because this is a co-op class and needs some structure, they were given a homework assignment. They are to use field guides to identify their object and research ten fun facts about it to share with the group. I can’t wait to hear what they discover.
Overall, the nature study was a great success with the group. We are going to continue it next week and will probably do it as a group monthly. My prayer is that kids will notice all of God’s amazing creations each day.