Part of our (parent) assignment was do read different sections of of Handbook of Nature Study. I am soaking up all the reading I am doing and am LOVING it. I also read the Optional Assignment which goes into greater detail on how to use the book HNS to it's fullest. What "I" need to work on now is to call the things we learn about by their names, such as parts of a tree, plant, etc. I have some learning to do myself. I need to make a couple cheat sheets and keep them with me as we go on our walks so when the kids spot a flower I can pull it out and ask them what color is the corolla, what color are the leaves of the spray on that tree, etc. This will be my major assignment over the next few weeks, or months, or how ever long it takes me to remember the names. *Ü*
Here are some quotes from the book I wanted to share.
Page 15: "Certain questions and lines of investigation should be given the pupils before starting and given in such a manner as to make them thoroughly interested in discovering the facts."
Page 23: "Make the lesson and investigation and make the pupils feel that they are investigators." and "If the questions do not inspire the child to investigate, they are useless."
I veered off the reading assignment and read about, "The Field Notebook". It has some great pointers about keeping a Field Notebook. Here are some tidbits of the pointers:
a. "The book should be considered the personal property of the child and should never be criticized by the teacher except as a matter of encouragement."
b. "The making of drawing to illustrate what is observed should be encouraged."
c. "The notebook should not be regarded as port of the work in English." (don't correct spelling, grammar, etc.)
d. "As occasion offers, outlines for observing certain plants or animals may be placed in the notebook." (this one is a must for me... I can't remember everything and having a page with the top things to achieve really helps me in accomplishing our goals)
e. "No child should be compelled to have a notebook." (This one I was a little puzzled with. .. After all, I want my children to have a sketch book, field guide, and journal. I made neat notebooking pages, etc. and by golly they are going to do it. LOL *Ü* But really, what this point spoke to me to me is that it shouldn't be forced. If they don't want to draw, write down their findings, etc. don't force it. Maybe this week (or 2 or 3), might be their week(s) when they don't want to record information, etc. And that is ok. I say again for my own acknowledgement/reinforcement... That is ok! It isn't like we would stop our nature study because they don't want to record anything in their journal. I know they are learning as we are out walking and observing. For me, the notebooking pages are just there as prompts to record their findings. And not all sections are filled out by each child. And... That is ok! )
With that covered, now I will share our finding from Assignment #2:
We started off our day with some time at the beach where they had a blast over turning rocks (and turned them back over again) to see what creatures were hiding under them. Then we headed into the mouth of the creek (where the fresh and salt water meet). There were all types of plants here and lots of birds. Here is a slide show of our day:
One word descriptions of what they heard: Tweet (Holly, Timmy & Jake), Splashing (Jessica)
Two word description of what they saw: Bird Nest (Timmy), Gray Heron (Jake), Clam Shells (Holly), flying birds (Jessica)
Three word description of something they felt: Soft White Sand (Timmy), Fast Moving Crabs (Jake), Tall Tall Tree (Holly), Fuzzy Pussy Willows (Jessica)
Jessica wanted to learn more about the Pussy Willow by discovering how it got the name "Pussy Willow". Click HERE to learn more about it. For her notebooking page she drew a picture of the waves splashing on the rocks. She also drew a Pussy Willow branch with pollen (closer look) in her sketch book.
Timmy wanted to learn more about crabs. We discovered the type of crabs he saw are Purple Shore Crabs. He drew a picture on his notebooking page of an army of crabs running away trying to hide under a rock again.
Holly wanted to learn about The Great Blue Heron. She read more about this bird in the Smithsonian Kids' Field Guides: Birds of North America West. For her notebook page, she drew one perched on a branch looking for its food below. She also drew one in her sketch book and labeled the parts.
Jake wanted to find out the type of clam shells he brought home with him. After our research, we found they are called Native Little Neck or Steamer Clams. He also drew a picture on his notebook page to show the inside of the clams. They have a purple tint around the outside edges.
To read more wonderful Green Hour Challenges for Assignment #2 click HERE.