Outdoor Hour Challenge
Spring Series #5
Spring Cattail Observations
After reading the Handbook of Nature Study introduction – I think I’ve found that we approach these topics more like a unit study – Incorporating the theme into our whole week. The actual nature study time should only be 15 minutes of directed out door observations according to Comstock – we seem to drag it out for a week. 🙂
Our general activity highlights:
Looked around areas that we thought they would grow and finally found 2-3 spots;
Read books from the library, sketched from the books;
Remembered past experiences, shared memories;
Visited the general area of the cattails, took a nature walk to see if there were any more in the forest;
Observed the cattails closely;
Pulled roots, touched, dissected, squeezed, smelled and photographed plants;
Drew the experiences in our sketchbooks;
Answered questions in the Handbook of Nature Study;
Recorded the information in our notebook and quick words in our sketchbook; and,
We shared our experiences with others, and they shared their observations with us.
The boys were intrigued that the plant was used for food in various ways, and they met a person who looks forward to “corn on the cob” fried cattail heads in June.
Our whole family learned so much about cattails – and all marveled at what we hand not observed previously. We lived in a house that had cattails in the front yard by the pond – we saw them every day – yet never observed them, or learned anything about them.
What are you “seeing” everyday, and yet not observing with intention?
Here is the photo gallery from our afternoon:
Near one Cattail, Anthony D Fredericks – We learned that it is god for food and medicine, and near frogs and snakes – the snakes and frogs were confirmed during our observation time.
Botany in a Day, Thomas J Elpeis – We learned that the core can be used for flour, and the tops like corn on the cob.
Watersheds, A practical Handbook for Healthy Water, Clive Dobson and Gregor Beck – we learned from their examples of water coloring cattails.
Handbook of Nature Study, Anna Comstock – We learned what observations to look for, and I learned detailed information, so as to be equipped to help guide the questions.
and last but definitely not least – the
Spring Nature Study with Art and Music Appreciation by Barbara McCoy –
This book helps me to narrow down the Handbook of Nature Study – and gives us a help with direction on what to choose each week to study. The book gives us many ideas, and helps like the Notebook Pages. Inside Prep, Outdoor Time, Suggestions for study and the follow-up Activity. We use the Notebook Sheet as a guide in our sketch books. This e-book has helped us step up our academic game from “casual walk in the woods” to – Observations with Purpose, and Learning, which we learned in our cattail study, and dandelion study – which we see every day and knew so little about.