Friday, June 24, 2011

Outdoor Hour Challenge #2: Crape Myrtle Tree

This morning, we completed our second outdoor hour challenge! :) One of my favorite memories from childhood was riding horses with my grandmother. I was always amazed at how she could instantly name the trees we passed. It's my goal for the children and I to learn to do the same; to be able to identify various trees, shrubs, flowers & plants. I think identifying these plants will help us praise God. He is an amazing Creator!

So, today we began to study Crape Myrtle trees because they are so abundant here in Georgia (plus, we have 5 in our yards). We're able to enjoy their blooms throughout the summer heat. We began our outdoor challenge this morning inside in the educational room, reciting together a poem we've memorized in the past, "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer. Because the Handbook of Nature Study did not cover Crape Myrtle trees specifically, I read pages 618-620 which covered the parts of a tree. Hopefully the children can now identify the roots, trunk or bole, head or crown, branch & spray. We also discussed the purposes of each of theses parts & what/how a tree eats. I even had a handy diagram on the whiteboard:

After reading some specific information about Crape Myrtles from the internet (Mama learned that the flowers could be white as well as pink), we headed outside to find which trees in our front & back yards were myrtles. We took time to look close & touch, practice identifying the various parts & even took a few clippings:

Then it was time to draw:

Lizzie's page:

Jonathan's page:

Matthias' page:

Benjamin's page:

Patricia's page:

The Outdoor Hour Challenge is hosted by Barb at the Handbook of Nature Study blog. You can read about our family's other challenges by clicking on one of the labels below.


Karen Tully said...

Need a magnifying glass to see Lizzie's flower, but she appears to have gotten the color right. What a great lesson. And the opictures were great! Patricia has soime real talent in art there! Many trees and plants have natural healing properties, (even dandelions) would be great for the kids to know what each use would be as well.

Jeanelle said...

I love your drawings. Wish we could be there to do it with you.

Auntie Jeanelle

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Great idea for your tree study. It is such a great experience to pick a tree in your own yard so you can watch the changes throughout the year. We have several Crape myrtle bushes in our yard and they each are a different shade of pink...dark, light, and almost salmon colored. So pretty!

Wonderful nature journal entries...details and captions are great.

Thank you so much for sharing your link with the OHC.

Zonnah said...

This tree is new to me, I love it!