“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 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 usSince 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!