A happy heart makes the face cheerful...Proverbs 15:13

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Winter Nature Studies

With the first snow on the ground, it is time to transition from our Autumn to Winter nature studies. I know, some of you are thinking, I am NOT going outside in this weather. Believe me I feel that way often, but by golly if the kids can do it and have fun, I can too. We can all cuddle under blankets with hot cocoa afterward. THAT I look forward too.

Our studies for this season will include:
1. Animal Tracks
2. How salt melts ice and snow
3. Snowflakes: Up close and personal
4.Outdoor observation box
You can find note-booking pages for all of the weekly studies to the right in the winter nature study section. Observation box note-booking is listed under 'created by me' section.

Bird Watch- We are going to watch our bird feeders to see what is coming to visit.
Weather Watch- Self Explanatory :)
Moon Transition watch- Viewing the moon at night and watch its transitions from full moon to full moon.(This is also going along with our astronomy lessons.
For this I have created a few charts for these daily watches. You can find them to the right in the 'created by me' section.

Lesson Explanations:

1.Animal Tracks- Try to find any animal print in the snow. In your neighborhood, you might find rabbit, dog, cat, squirrel, bird or raccoon. We are going to the state park to try to find some lesson common prints like snake or deer. Have your child complete the note-booking page. You can take this a step further by making casts of the prints and then exploring them at home.

2. How salt melts ice and snow- You can use household or industrial salt for this project. The directions for this are explained on the note-booking page.

3. Snowflakes: Up close and personal- Catch some snow on a black piece of cloth, glove, or small piece of cardboard. Then view through the magnifying glass. You can put them in the freezer to prolong the project if needed. I would suggest pre-freezing your collection item and then putting back in the freezer for a few minutes before observing it. Complete the note-booking page. I am going to have my schoolers write(and/or dictate) a story about snow or snowflakes. Also, we will make snowflakes out of paper.
4.Outdoor observation box- With the outdoor observation box, you find a small area in your yard or local park that won't be disturbed. Measure out your box. We are going to do 1 ft by 1 ft. As you measure, place rocks or stakes in the corners of your observation box. The use yarn to square off the box. Everyday make observations, and take or draw a picture, of what has changed in the box since the last observation. For right now we plan to only do this for a week, but if the kids enjoy it like they did in other seasons we will continue. I fear they might only see a new cover of snow everyday :)

I will be sharing our studies as we complete them. Feel free to work along with us. Do you have other nature studies that you and your family enjoy?

1 comment:

  1. I came over from Jimmie's Notebooking Fairy. Thanks for sharing. We also love doing our notebooking and lapbook pages which I share at Practical Pages.