Nature study can be as simple as a short walk in the neighborhood or as elaborate as a week in Yellowstone National Park. Don’t make it hard. Just go outside. This month, we suggest you spend some time outside every day that the weather is reasonable, and walk or drive to some different bodies of water to discover the differences between them. Some of these bodies of water will need to be explored online instead of in person, and that’s ok!
We’ve gathered some information about each kind as well as some questions to ponder. You don’t have to know all the answers to your kids questions because you can look up the answers later. Take pictures of the any bodies of water that you see in person so that you can look them up later. You might want to draw them into your nature journal too, and pictures make a great model.
Questions to ponder with your kids while you explore with caution:
- What shape is the body of water you are observing??
- What color is it?
- What parts does it have?
- What lives in it?
- How does it smell?
- Is the water you are looking at moving? What causes the movement?
- What is the land around the water like?
Handbook of Nature Study
Have you heard of Anna Botsford Comstock’s Handbook of Nature Study? It’s a fantastic book that covers all kinds of creatures, plants, and habitats. Since it has all sorts of resources in it, you should download it for free at https://www.google.com/books/edition/Handbook_of_Nature_study_for_Teachers_an/CjPbAAAAMAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0
Anna Botsford Comstock talks about Brooks on pages 819-824. Take a few minutes to read those pages, and then keep those ideas in mind as you and your kids watch for evergreens this month. That way, you may remember the answers for some of their questions, and you have another handy resource to check when you can’t.
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