Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Nature Study this Week: Field Guide: Outdoor Hour Challenge #7

Now to Challenge #7.
What did our family do for nature study this week? Remember that my boys are 12 and 14 years old so they do most of the follow up activities on their own. I remind them to make a journal entry or to complete a new field guide card but for the most part....they have taken on responsibility for their own nature study. If your children are younger or less experienced with nature study, they are going to need more help and probably only one follow up activity.

Our focus is garden flowers and my son found a flower to press for his nature journal.
money plant press
Annual Honesty: Lunaria annua-we call it money plant

We are busy trying to remember the official names of each part of a flower. We are going to draw and label a diagram each day this week so it will be set into our memory. (page 456 in the Handbook of Nature Study)
flower parts

We saw a turkey vulture in our backyard yesterday so we really need to add a card to our bird field guide. If you have never seen a turkey vulture close up, you have no idea how BIG they are. The bird we saw yesterday swooped down through our backyard and we had a great view from our window.

turkey vulture card

The boys also spent quite a bit of time observing our cat hunting a mouse. They came in and told me all about it with great stories of how the cat would "play" with the mouse. The mouse ended up getting away....horrors. It made a great nature journal drawing though. :)

house mouse journal

I am busy working on recognizing birds from their calls and songs. If you pop over to my nature blog I have some video/audio of a robin, a woodpecker, and an unidentified bird that I talk about. I also show the tie-ins to the Handbook of Nature Study. I can't tell you enough about how wonderful this book is for learning how to learn about nature study.

My Nature Blog: Handbook of Nature Study

As you can see, we are not very structured in our nature study. I love the way it folds into our everyday life. Once a month we take our nature day and really focus on some aspect of study but mostly it is bit by bit, everyday awareness.

If you are feeling stuck with the challenges, read the other entries on Mr. Linky. I think we are up to 60 links on challenge number one. They are from all over the world. Be inspired.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

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