Nature study can be as simple as a short walk in the neighborhood or as elaborate as a week in a National Park. Don’t make it hard. Just go outside. This month, let’s look at the tiniest creatures and plants. Do you have a microscope? If so, pull it out for the month and look at all kinds of things. If you don’t, you’ll be able to find pictures of these items online to explore with your children. You don’t have to know all the answers to your kids’ questions because you can look up the answers later.
Here are some questions to consider with your kids while you explore:
- How large is the item you are viewing?
- What is its shape?
- What parts do you see?
- What colors does the item have?
- Draw and color the item you are viewing. Label it.
We will be thinking specifically about:
- DK Findout! Microscopes
- 10 Everyday Things You Should Look at Under a Microscope
- National Geographic on Microscopes
- Khan Academy on Microscopes
- Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist’s Microscope
- Greg’s Microscope
- Deep Under Cover: Looking Inside the Insides of Really Cool Things
- Unseen Worlds: Real-Life Microscopic Creatures Hiding All Around Us
- Adventures with a Microscope
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 using a microscope and molds and bacteria on pages 9, 720-725, and 827 of the linked edition of the Handbook of Nature Study. Take a few minutes to read those pages, and then keep those ideas in mind as you and your kids watch the weather 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.