Monday, August 22, 2011

The Pond Outdoor Hour Study

I've been a reader of Handbook Of Nature Study for over a year now, and have wanted to participate, but don't usually have the study documented enough to post anything about.  Science is a favorite of my girls, ages 6 & 4, because they like experiments and hands on learning.  (I, on the other hand, think it's a lot more work!)

Living here in Michigan, we're never far from water, so doing a pond study sounded interesting and do-able.  We could chose to study cattails, frogs, water-fowl or dragonflies this month at the pond.  We hunted for cattails earlier this spring, and found few because it was too early, but we've seen so many since, so I knew this was a good place to start.

We headed a few miles down the road to Round Lake, which I've driven past but never stopped.  It has a township public access, so we bumped along down the 2-track to the end where the boat launch was.  The girls were very excited, and grabbed their glass jars to collect specimens on their race to the edge.  I put 21 month Maverick in the stroller (very unsuitable for rough terrain) and we inspected the water's edge.  We saw Lily-pads along the edges of the lake and plenty of cattails.  We opened one up and checked out the seeds growing inside and compared it in memory to the one from the springtime that was leftover from last fall.  We discussed where they grew and where we could find them.

Barb, from the Nature Study blog, cautioned parents to keep an eye on children, and I spent a great majority of my time keeping Maverick out of the water!  We read a little bit in our book, Handbook of Nature Study, given to us by another homeschool friend.  This has become a great book, and it goes hand in hand with the Nature Study blog.  Makenna couldn't wait to take off her sandals and wade a little bit here.

After this, we went to another location to study pond life.  Over by a channel into Lake Michigan, there is a little picnic area and a bridge with some paths.  We walked along this area, but again, doing this with a toddler along is a little crazy!  He enjoyed the study, and big sister Hannah saw a big fish, which she was very excited about!  She drew these pictures:
Lily Pad with Flower

The fish she saw in the water
There's a really cool old book that's been put on-line for free viewing.  It's all about how to draw creatures, and Hannah followed the instructions to get this fish.  She was always frustrated about drawing fish, and this was her first try following these directions.  I was impressed at how well it turned out!


Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Hi Jennifer,

I really, really enjoyed seeing your pond study. You did a great job with this even with little ones to keep you hopping. :)

Love the little toes in the water image...perfect summer nature study.

Thanks so much for sharing your link with the OHC.

Phyllis said...

What a lovely place to go. I love the journal pages!!! What a lovely, peaceful time you had!

Kristin said...

Hopping over from the OHC. Great fish drawing. Love those baby toes!

See Jamie blog said...

Wonderful study! Love the drawings, too! Cattails are really interesting, much more so than I would've thought before we studied them ourselves, but we don't have any nearby ponds with lily pads.

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I love Jesus with all my heart and a truth & Grace seeker. I married the love of my life in 2000 and I've been blessed with 5 lovies that I homeschool. Join me as I blog about my interests.


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