Friday, August 1, 2008

Outdoor Hour Challenge #24 Crickets

Edit to Add: There is now another Cricket Challenge in the Summer 2010 ebook and here on the blog:
OHC Summer Series #10: Crickets, Grasshoppers, and Katydids.

Let’s take a look at crickets this week in our mini-focus on insects using the Handbook of Nature Study. Summertime is the perfect time to go outdoors in the cool evenings, listening and tracking these creatures close to home.
“The haunts of the cricket are usually sunny; it digs a little cave beneath a stone or clod in some field, where it can have the whole benefit of all the sunshine when it issues from its door.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 344
If at all possible, try to spend some of your outdoor hour time outside during the evening hours to see if you can hear some crickets chirping in the twilight and evening.

Outdoor Hour Challenge #24
Focus on Insects-Crickets

1. This week read about crickets in the Handbook of Nature Study, pages 344-349. Most of us have heard crickets in the evenings and children will be very interested to learn more about these insects that play music with their legs for us to enjoy.

2. Try to spend some of your outdoor time in the evening air. Our family likes to sit on our deck and watch as the stars come out after sunset. This is a perfect activity to couple with listening for crickets because it is just about at the same time that you will begin to hear crickets singing their evening songs.

3. After you have your outdoor time, provide an opportunity for working on a nature journal entry. Use the Handbook of Nature Study or a library book to find an illustration or photo of an actual cricket to draw in your journal. Have your child label the entry with a title, the date, and the place that you made your observation. Parents can always help the child with this part if needed. This is a good time to work on using descriptive words as described in Outdoor Hour Challenge #2. The more you use the proper names for subjects you see during your nature study, the sooner your children will learn and remember them for themselves.

4. If you observed some other kinds of insects during the week, give the option for making a nature journal for those too. Make sure to pull out the Handbook of Nature Study to see if the insect you found is listed and you can read more about it there. If you are keeping a running list of insects you have observed during this focus period, add the insect’s name to the list.

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