Thursday, November 5, 2009

A WOODLAND HUNT

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We were having one of those mornings..... no one could seem to get into the groove of our school day. So... I said "get your shoes and coats on" - and off we went to explore the woods and creek nestled deep in our backyard. We took along our Nature Journals, and had a Woodland Scavenger Hunt.
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It was a glorious morning today after having so much rain this past month.... we discovered many things that are hidden just out of sight when we stopped to really explore our surroundings. We had to hunt for ..something smaller than your thumb....something older than yourself, something that flies, something taller than you, something that needs air, something younger than yourself, something that makes you laugh, something that is important, something with a smell, and something with spots, and something we had never seen before - well, that was the first thing we found... just as we were walking into the woods, two deer, a doe and a buck with a huge set of antlers bounded off just in front of us! (It seriously startled me so much that I slipped and fell flat on my bum!!) We see many deer in our neighborhood, but we have never seen a buck before, and right in our own backyard! He even left a "hoof-print" for a picture!
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"If I Were a Tree" - Boo chose this tree to "be". We wrote about how old it might be, and how many seasons it has seen, how many birds might have lived in its branches, and how many squirrels might have scampered up it's trunk!
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We talked about how and why the seasons change, this picture just says "winter is creeping silently upon us"..
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We learned about what leaves do and why they change colors in the fall..
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We talked about the two most common groups of trees, broadleaf and conifers....
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And tried to identify trees by their leaves....
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and even saw a wonderful story in this little sprig of life in the middle of such deadness..
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Banana's favorite thinking tree - do you see the red heart in this picture?
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Boo pretending to be a woodland creature in her cozy home...
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And to end our "science-writing-gym-art" lesson, we did some leaf-rubbings....
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6 comments:

Anonymous said...

to me this is homeshcooling personifed.... you have such an amazing freedom to allow your children to guide their own learning and it is so much more meaningful... can't wait to try it myself soon! thanks for all the inspiration Heather!
Erin Gaeng (Bel Air)

Jennie said...

LOVE the picture of Boo leaning up against the tree.

Wendy said...

What wonderful pictures and such a great idea! I can't believe how many leaves are still on your trees! The trees are almost bare here and the "winter look" has arrived.

I love the picture of the "red heart"--how awesome--did you plan that or just notice it as you were taking the picture? Looks like your morning activity and relfection were warmly welcomed--thanks for sharing!

Maddie Webb said...

WOW. I laughed outloud when i saw the picture of Boo sneaking out of the hole that picture was priceless! I LOVE the Heart picture, and i am also curious wether that was planned or discovered? The picture of Kirsten drawing the textures of the leaves would have to be my fave though, i LOVE how the llighting is pouring in from behind her and the fall tones she is using in her drawing. Overall this was such a cool post i love these types of posts because it almost feels like im looking in the window of your hous, "the normal day at the O'Steen's" if that makes sense? Really enjoyed this post!

Nana said...

Beautiful pictures. Hard to believe fall is almost past for you. Looks like the girls had a very fun learning time. Gary saw deer tracks in our garden....not a good sign. Glad you guys had fun today.

Timeless and Treasured, Photography by Heather said...

Erin - thanks so much - the other Erin told me you wanted to homeschool. I highly recommend it! Especially when they are so little like yours, it's never too early to start! We have a great time with the 3-year-old, she soaks up more than anyone else.

Wendy and Maddie - No, that heart was completely not planned and I didn't even notice it until I got the pictures on my computer! She just had her red sleeves over her hands because they were cold.