We spend the day taking a closer look at what is going on around us by exploring and discovering what nature has to offer! We may take a trip to the ocean, visit a park, preserve or playground, or run right out into our own yard to do this. We never know what is going to inspire us, so we take along our nature backpack, filled with the items we like to use to explore and record our day.
The ‘Natural Curriculum’ Connection
Every activity that we do has educational value built right in to it, naturally. A short list of what some of those educational qualities are is offered for record keeping purposes. Since learning is such a personal thing for each person, please keep in mind that you can never know what is being learned at any given time by an individual.
Here are a few of the things we like to do when we go out:
– Walk and enjoy the day.(P.E./observation/health)
– Listen to and identify the sounds around us. (Auditory/observational skills)
– Find new areas to explore. (Geography/earth science)
– Observe nature by watching insects, birds, dolphins, and other creatures and by looking at flowers, plants, and trees. (Sci – botany, entomology, biology zoology/observation/identification)
– *Collect and examine items like leaves, shells, nuts, seeds, flowers and plants, sticks, rocks, etc.. (Sci – zoology, botany, biology, geology/observation/ Math – comparing, sorting)
– Draw or take pictures of the things we find interesting. (Science/Visual art/Observation)
– Catch butterflies in a net and release them when we are finished viewing them, or just watch them in action. (Sci – zoology, entomology, biology/Observation)
– Check out a bug with a magnifying glass. (Sci – zoology, entomology, biology/Observation)
– Look for animal tracks. (Sci – biology/Observation)
– Learn about what we see by checking our guide books. (LS – reading/research)
– Write about, draw, or video record the things we experience. (LS – writing, documentation, visual media)
– Go fishing. (We take a copy of our state’s regulations with us too.) (Sci – marine biology, physics, earth science/ Math – measurements – length and distance/SS – citizenship [obeying regulations])
– Observe and study the clouds. ( Sci – meteorology –nephology/Observation)
– Observe and talk about the weather. (Sci – meteorology, LS – Communication skills)
– Blow bubbles. (Sci – meteorology – air current, physics, chemistry/ Math – geometry)
– Wonder (Critical thinking skills)
*If you are in a preserve, observe only! Do not pick anything up, move or take anything with you other than pictures.
When you walk around outside, it is a good idea to wear closed-toe shoes, long sleeves and long pants. A hat is good to have too!
Be careful of snakes while you are walking. Learn what to do if you encounter a snake.
Make sure you take water with you when you go out, and drink often.
The Handbook of Nature Study has some helpful hits for doing outdoor studies.
Note: Has this or another activity on Fran’s World of Discovery inspired you or someone else in a positive way? Have you featured this activity in a blog post? I invite you to comment and link back to