Monday, May 21, 2012

Botany Nature Study

We are blessed to be a part of a homeschool meet-up group that has some very talented women that are creative and plan events that full of educational wonder.  Peirce and Thurston County Homeschool is a wonderful addition to our homeschool lives.  Do you have a great group of supportive parents that you are able to chat and visit with occasionally?  I hope you do have such a group.

Last week was full of nature learning.  Monday we released ladybugs,  Tuesday we continued on with a few more ladybug studies that we started the week before, Wednesday we enjoyed some rubbings on different objects located in the yard, and Friday we spent an enjoyable afternoon at a Clarks Creek Park in Puyallup.  Our Botany Scavenger Hunt involved about 30+ kids ranging in age from infant to teenage looking for different plants that we could identify.  Our group was diverse in ages as well.  I think everyone had fun. 

Putting samples into our bag
to share with the other groups
Liberty (her blog Our Creative Day) planned the study for us this week.  She shared her botany list and I thought I would share it with others here.  It came from a web site called Basement Workshop:  Botany Scavenger Hunt. 

For some of the members in our group, we were very curious about the parts of a flower and I wish I would have printed out and shared the work sheet I made recently telling about the flower.  I think I shocked everyone when I nonchalantly said that flowers have ovaries.  I need to watch that, working in the medical field for so long I forget, sometimes we need to tone it down.  So on the work sheet, you will see the word ovary, if this is something you are uncomfortable with your child saying, delete that portion or use a word you prefer that means the same thing.  You might print both if you do this, I know I will when we do it again in the fall.  My little worksheet can be found here, A Little Flower Tale, for those curious minds.  I think this hunt worked well with the broad age range we had, though it was maybe a bit long for the kids that were in the 4-7 age range.  Adjust for your age range and group.  I really liked the list from the web site for the scavenger hunt.  

I believe this was stinging nettle
When we got done with our walk and the hunt (we took 45 minutes or so and divided into 3 groups--I think) we made notations in our journals.  For Sarah this meant we did leaf rubbings and I labeled them with the date while I could.  It was a very enjoyable afternoon.  We followed up all this learning with a picnic and more than an hour of free play. 

I hope this little glimpse gives you an idea on some things you might be able to do in your neck of the woods.
Have a great week, we are preparing for family visiting and memorial day lesson is in the works.  We will be planing to go to Seattle on Saturday as well to attend to Bear's Grandpa Jimmy's grave site. 

Our group found a fun log and pitch on the log as well. 
I was more impressed with the pitch, the kids were more impressed with the dirt.

Ontop of botany, we also collected bugs. 
An outing would not be complete with out this project, right?

Our nature journal, a leaf rubbing, followed by trying to color it in.

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