Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Handbook of Nature Study: Ice and Snow

Winter has hit most of the United States. I hear of the snowstorms, the ice, and the freezing rain and I am glad to be snug in my house. We have had lots of cold frosty weather and this week has brought in the rains but nothing like the rest of the country.

I wanted to bring to your attention the section near the back of the Handbook of Nature Study on climate and weather. Particularly interesting to some might be the section on water forms found starting on page 808.

From the Handbook of Nature Study on page 808:
"Water in its various changing forms, liquid, gas, and solid, is an example of another overlooked miracle- so common that we fail to see the miraculous in it. We cultivate the imagination of our children by tales of the prince who became invisible when he put on his cap of darkness, and who made far journeys through the air on his magic carpet. And yet no cap of darkness ever wrought more astonishing disappearances than occur when this most common of our earth's elements disappears from under our very eyes, dissolving into thin air."

Anna Comstock spends the next few pages discussing the miracle of the water cycle and the many faces of water. There are so many things described here on these pages and you could easily spend weeks going through each little paragraph.

Ice on the surface of a pond (page 811)
Seeing one's breath (page 810)
Observing a boiling teakettle (page 810)
Geometry of a snowflake (page 809)

Then starting on page 812 she has listed 13 activities to complete your study of water forms.

If you own this book, I would encourage you to get it out and read these few pages for yourself and use them in your weekly nature study. These activities could easily be done during the cold winter days where you don't feel like venturing out of doors.

Leave me a comment if you have used these pages in your nature study. I would love to hear what you are doing at your house.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

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