Thursday, June 09, 2011

Outdoor Hour Challenge #1: Box Turtle

For some time now, I've been wanting to be more consistent with doing nature journals with the children. When I came across Handbook of Nature Study blog, I knew it would a great resource to help us use our Handbook of Nature Study while getting outside more to draw. Yeah! :) I promised the children we would begin after the move but I wasn't planning on starting this week nor choosing box turtles as the topic. But, God's providence is always exciting & often unexpected (for us)!

Eric came across a box turtle last night when he went to move the grill. We were thrilled to find our first creature in our new home! We placed him in a laundry basket with some water, strawberries & roast beef (what a life!). The children enjoyed looking and touching him- Benjamin quickly recognized that our turtle was a male because his bottom shell was concave. Jonathan wasn't convinced though- he was sure it had to be a mama turtle.

(The turtle was safer with the 2 youngest viewing from inside the house.)

This morning, we pulled out our Handbook and read about turtles on pages 204-205 & 207. Then we went outside to review what we had learned, which meant we had to touch and see! Here is a few things the children should be able to tell you now: turtles are reptiles (we reviewed what this meant vs being a mammal); we reviwed what turtles like to eat & noted that our tutle had only drank water last night; turtles hiss when they are threatened (we got to hear that sound a lot); turtles have 5 claws in their front legs & 4 on their back legs; the top shell is called a carapace, the bottom a plastron; box turtles can close the top & bottom of their plastron to help protect them when in danger; box turtles live on land.

Next, the children drew in their nature journals and then added some comments. I need to get a journal for Elizabeth (she just used a notebook today) and also one for myself becuase I want to join in! Here are some pictures of their nature journaling today:

Patricia's page (turtle with strawberries):

Benjamin's page (the turtle inside the laundry basket):

Matthias' two pages:

Jonathan's page (at first, he wasn't happy with how it looked but it provided a good teaching moment & after I praised him, his attitude changed):

So, there you have it- our first outdoor hour challenge! YEAH! :)
- Heather

The Outdoor Hour Challenge is hosted by Barb at the Handbook of Nature Study blog.


Jeremiah and Stephenie said...

I've been wanting to do her Outdoor Hour Challenges, but just haven't gotten myself together to do it yet. You make it look so easy! What a great experience for your little ones.
PS: Congratulations on expecting your new little one.

Tully Family said...

HAH! I've been wanting to do this for over a year and just never did it. (I like to plan too much.) Telling the children helped- accountability is a good thing. ;) And, God was so good to provide the opportunity- I just had to be willing to let everything go & focus on it. Much easier than I anticipated.

Let me know when you try it!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it so much fun learning right at home? I want to come and learn along! Will ask to see their projects when I come.
Love Mom

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Wonderful first challenge! I think you did a great job taking advantage of your subject, reading in the HNS, and then doing careful observations. Everyone did a fantastic job with the details in the journal...great turtle sketches.

Welcome to the OHC and thank you so much for sharing your entry with the carnival.

Zonnah said...

You can tell they were happy from the pictures and their drawings are great!