April 24, 2008

Outdoor Hour: A Fun Afternoon of Observation

The eighth Outdoor Hour Challenge assignment emphasizes the use of lenses and close observation in nature study.

We read about spiders and cobwebs in The Handbook of Nature Study and discussed basic spider anatomy in comparison with insect anatomy before heading outdoors. I asked the kids to get our magnifying glasses, but we were so anxious to be outside that we forgot about them. We did remember a bug container that has a magnifying glass built into the lid.

We had to look indoors for cobwebs. Either it was too bright to see them or it is too early in the spring for a ton of spider activity outside. Here are some pictures of a cobweb we found in the garage:

cobweb with fly


cobweb and spiders2

Here are a couple of blooms:


flowering pear tree

I don't have much to show in the way of pictures from our outing. We didn't do any journal pages because the kids ended up staying outside observing insects all afternoon; they were doing a wonderful nature study on their own and I didn't want to stifle them. We did see at least two different spiders that we will identify this week. I would like to have the kids begin their field guide cards once we identify the spiders.

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Apr. 27, 2008 - Green Hour Activity- Grow a plant that moves when you tickle it!

Posted by Mark

I thought your families that homeschool would enjoy an educational indoor gardening adventure, growing the TickleMe Plant (Mimosa pudica). This activity was featured recently by the National Gardening Associations Kids Store, http://www.kidsgardeningstore.com/14-1030.html
If you want to give your homeschoolers to have an experience they will never forget, consider having them grow a TickleMe Plant. This is the plant that will close its leaves and lower its branches when you tickle it. They sprout in days and can be grown indoors any time of year. Just Google TickleMe Plants or go to www.TickleMePlant.com for seeds and growing kits. The TickleMe Plant will encourage your child's interest in plants and respect for nature.
Happy Growing,

Apr. 27, 2008 - Insects and spiders

Posted by HarmonyArtMom

These are some of my favorite things to look at with the magnifying lens. They sort of look like monsters at first but then you really look more carefully and you realize how wonderfully made they are.

I am so glad you didn't interrupt their nature time with journals. :)

Great job,
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

May. 10, 2008 - Great work!

Posted by mamasmurf

Sometimes it's just "the right thing" to let your children take the lead in outdoor activities. I don't know if I'd be able to take such a close-up look at spiders, though (they give me the collywobbles!).

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