Monday, September 22, 2008

the first official day of fall...

... and our nature study officially begins!

I've mentioned before that we were going to incorporate more nature study into our school this year. We even started one of the challenges from the Handbook of Nature Study blog. But we had started with challenge #29.... today we went back to the beginning and started with challenge #1.

Thankfully my friend had invited us and another family to join them in celebrating the first day of fall at the North Park Village Nature Center here in Chicago. Our trip today created the perfect opportunity to kick off our nature study. The weather here was GORGEOUS... an absolutely perfect day.

Here Clara and "M" get started on the nature scavenger hunt that my friend had put together for the kids...
Following the instructions on the challenge blog... we took note of a few things we wanted to investigate further once we were at home.

Alex wants to look into what makes these patterns on this leaf...
Another shot of the kids working on the scavenger hunt...
Alex climbing...
Checking out the toad we found...
Another research project... what causes these leaves to be rolled up like this...
and this...
One of the moms brought paper and glue for the kids to make nature collages...
Alex, "K" and Clara posing...
"K" and Clara head into the pond to see what they can find....
"M" and Alex spent a lot of time trying to find this bird in their field guides... we're still not completely sure so we will probably check out our field guides here at home tomorrow....
"M" caught a tadpole...
"M" and Clara decide to go in a little deeper to see what else they could find...
(thank goodness I had brought dry clothes for her... I had anticipated something like this happening.... lol!)

In the woods we saw the toad, deer and squirrels... in the pond we found frogs, turtles, tadpoles, damselfly nymphs, and dragonfly nymphs. I'm sure there are other creatures that I am forgetting.

The kids had a fabulous 4 1/2 hours there this afternoon. I bet they explored the pond for nearly half of that time. My friend took home water samples to investigate under their microscope... how cool is that? I'm thinking I may have to look into investing in a microscope soon! :-)

Well... the washer just beeped... off to see if Clara's clothes actually came clean! :-)

2 comments:

Joyce said...

Oh what a fun day!! I am just loving this weather, too. :)

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

What a great day! So many wonderful things to investigate...I love really good questions and you have that covered.

Wonderful photos and a great account of your day.

Thanks for sharing your day.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom