Sunday, February 24, 2008

Green Hour Challenge Assignment #1


Barb from The Heart of Harmony as started this wonderful nature study challenge: Green Hour Challenge. If you have wanted to do nature studies with your children, but always seemed to put them off for one reason or another, this challenge is for you.

One thing (among many) I really appreciate is the fact that she is teaching us how to use Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock (here is a free downloadable version). I had this book for quite some time, but the size scared me to death. Barb is suggesting a few pages at a time from different sections of the book. It really is giving me a better understanding what a Nature Study is all about.

Here are a few quotes that stuck out to me, encouraged me, and inspired me:

"Nature-study cultivates in the child a love of the beautiful."

"Nature-study cultivates the child's imagination, since there are so many wonderful and true stories that he may read with his own eyes..."

"...more than all, nature-study give the child a sense of companionship..."

"In nature-study any teacher can with honor say, "I do not know"; for perhaps the question asked is as yet unanswered by the great scientists."

"Moreover, the teacher, in confessing her ignorance and at the same time her interest in a subject, establishes between herself and her pupils a sense of companionship which relieves the strain of discipline, and give her a new and intimate relation with her pupils which will surely prove a potent element in her success."

There was more I underlined or highlighted, but those above really stuck out to me.

For this assignment we went into our back yard and wondered around for about 10-15 min look at different items from nature that might be of interest to the kids. Is there a plant they see and they wonderful what the name is? How long does it take for a tree to grow? What tree does this leaf come from? And other possible questions.

I created notebooking pages for this assignment (and have assignments 2 notebooking page already done as well). This way they will keep a nature journal about our nature studies. I will place them in a 3 ring notebook and divide up the notebook into sections: Plants, Trees, Animals, Birds, Insects, etc...
Here were our results...

Timmy:
Question 1: What did you see: leaves, tree, rock, & grass
Question 2: What was interesting about them: He left this area blank. When I asked him about this verbally, he said, "Mom, it is my backyard. I play here all the time and didn't see anything new." Ok... Think to myself... He has a point there, but we will work on different approaches to seeing things as we go along on our nature studies.
Question 3: Did you bring anything back with you? No
Question 4: What would you like to investigate further? The Fig Tree
Question 5: What did you discover? Common Fig : Figs were a common foodsource for the Romans and were used to fatten geese.

Here is a picture of him hanging from one of the branches of the fig tree. And yes, it produces a ton of figs. Unfortunately a lot of them go to waste. I can't get past the part of what they look like when you open them up. YUCK!


Jessica:
Question 1: What did you see: grass, wisteria, pond, rocks
Question 2: What was interesting about what you saw? Grass-There was a lot of it. Wisteria- had no leaves on it and it looked dead. Pond- had not that much water in it. Rocks- they were around the pond.
Question 3: Did you bring anything back with you? A small branch with buds and a leaves attached to it.
Question 4: What would you like to investigate further? What color are ht buds when they bloom & what is the name of the plant
Question 5: What did you discover? It is the flower buds of a White Lilac.
Ok after I went outside to varify the plant type, I know it isn't a lilac. I will have to search for the "real" name. This is a learning process for us all. :o)

We have finally figured out what this lovely plant is offically called. This is a Cliftonia Monophylla. We also have that has redish belled flowers. They are very pretty when they are in full bloom.

Ok... 3rd time is a charm, right. After searching through more books on nature study and identifying, we are almost certain this is a (drum roll please...), a Japanese andromdeda (Pieris).




Holly:
Question 1: What did you see: leaf, new sprouts coming up from the ground
Question 2: What was interesting about them: Buds-They were dark green
Question 3: Did you bring anything back with you? No
Question 4: What would you like to investigate further? Find out the name of the flower
Question 5: What did you discover? This is a Mealy Cup Sage, will have purple flower spikes; blooms spring, summer, fall; shear occasionally; full sun; 2 to 3 feet.


Jake:
Question 1: What did you see: leaf & tree
Question 2: What was interesting about them: leaf- it was green.
Question 3: Did you bring anything back with you? No
Question 4: What would you like to investigate further? Find out the name of the tree
Question 5: What did you discover? This is a Rubber Tree/Plant.


For Green Hour Challenge #2, we will be heading the the Clear Creek Trail with some friends.

PS: If anyone would like a copy of my notebooking page, you can download them by clicking the link below the Green Hour Challenge Logo on the right side bar, or Here to get to them directly.

14 comments:

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Wonderful Green Hour time! You all did so great picking things and then answering your questions. I love the photo of your son with the leaf...really cute.

I love the simplicity of your notebook page. Very well done and I look forward to your next entry.

Thanks for linking.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Anonymous said...

Hi. Thanks for stopping by my blog at www.homeschoolblogger.com/aiminghigh. It looks like we are near each other. Lisawa mentioned the Clear Creek Trail also! Small world.
Many Blessings,
Holly@aiminghigh

Dawn said...

Ooooh, Tina, this post excites me! I can't wait for our next walk. Though I don't know if I'll be able to get my little loquacious one to be quiet for even 10 mins. :) BTW--I like your profile pic! It's nice to "see" you. I just noticed it...has it always been there?

LisaWA said...

Excellent Tina... I like that pisture of Jake too... and now I have Laverne and Shirley stuck in my head singing the rubber tree plant song... or the ant song... what ever its called... lol

Lisa

Tina said...

Thanks everyone! :o) We had a wonderful time.

I do have to add with 4 kids + 2 friends over, it was a little bit of a challenge to get my dc focused. LOL But I "had" to do it. We worked on the identification part on Sunday evening.

I am really looking forward to today. Time spent with another homeschooling family working on the same goal. Nothing could be finer (tried using funer, but it is not a word). :o) And the fact that we have a few days to get our assignment completed is very relaxing to me.

I really enjoyed view everyone else’s blogs too. What a wonderful challenge!

~Tina

Tina said...

Holly~

That is neat you're close by us. Are you on HIK?

I just want to add that I can relate to your “excitement” about heading outdoors. I am an indoor gal too. That is another reason I adore these assignments… It is getting me outside. :o)

Can’t wait to meet IRL.

~Tina

Tina said...

Dawn~

Nope the picture hasn't been there until recently. And I probably wouldn't have put it there, but I needed a picture for the Homeschool Lounge and I decided to add it here and at the WTM board as well. It is too close for my liking, but my arm can only reach so far. :o) LOL Thanks for the comment on it. :o)

I had a hard time keeping my 7-12 year old focused. It has been so cold here and last week was nice and sunny, not warm… but sunny, that all they wanted to do was play outside.

My thoughts… It doesn’t have to be 15-20 min all at once. If they are distracted, break up the time and ask them to investigate, and then let them play. There is always another day to work up to that 15 min. Or if you accomplish your goal before 15 min. Great. :o)

I believe there will be other opportunities to learn about nature even after we accomplish our assignments. I just LOVE this book (thanks to Barb breaking it down for us LOL). I see nature in a new light.

BTW, I just LOVE your new look. :o)

Thanks for stopping by!

~Tina

Tina said...

Lisa, LOL I didn't think of that! But now that you say it, guess what tune is in my head. :o) Too funny. See you in a little while. :o) ~Tina

Tina said...

Barb~

Thank you! Thanks for all your doing to for others and for answering my millions of questions about the challenge &/or your wonderful curriclum.

Blessings,

Tina

Keri said...

I like your questions and their answers.

Spinneretta said...

Sounds like you had fun!

I just wanted to say I accidentally deleted your comment (darn one button moderation :/), but posted it in a comment of my own with an apology! I am so sorry, I didn't want you to think I deliberately deleted you!!

Tina said...

LOL, that is ok. I have done that before myself. That was sweet of you to let me know. :o) BTW, I love your other blog! :o)

Thanks for stopping by!

~Tin

PS:
If anyone would like a copy of my notebooking pages, look at the bottom of the post for a link to the site where they can be downloaded. They aren't anything fancy, but I tried to get all the points from the assignment onto the notebooking page. With 4 kids, it is hard for me to remember what did what, etc. and notebooking pages really help me. Plus it is a great addition to their Notebooks. :o)

Jennifer said...

Tina,
It is great to see what everyone is doing for the Green Hour challenges. I clicked on the link for your notebooking pages - they look great. I really enjoyed reading your blog.

Blessings,
Jennifer
www.homeschoolblogger.com/heartlandclchristian/

Jennifer said...

Tina,
It is great to see what everyone is doing for the Green Hour challenges. I clicked on the link for your notebooking pages - they look great. I really enjoyed reading your blog.

Blessings,
Jennifer
www.homeschoolblogger.com/heartlandclchristian/