With an abundance of bare branches and twigs piercing the winter skies, it seems like the obvious thing to do is to take a closer look at them. Of course, it took Barb’s Twig Challenge to draw my attention to it – sometimes it is hard to see what is right before your eyes, so I am always so grateful to Barb and her wonderful nature challenges!
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Today we began our winter tree study with a focus on twigs. Using Barb’s OHC to guide us I started by reading from the Handbook of Nature Study on pages 622 – 614. This was my own reading and not something I read to the children. You will notice that The Handbook of Nature Study can come across as a bit intimidating – it is a vast volume and knowing just where to begin can send you into a mild panic.
This is why the weekly Outdoor Our Challenges are so great. One of the first things I realised was that The Handbook of Nature Study is for the teacher – not the student. The student is to be led gently along with their studies and should not be made to see the study of nature as a chore to be rushed through. The Handbook is to guide you as the teacher. Once I realised that it became a lot less intimidating!
After I had done my preparation before the lesson, I thought I would pop onto the Nature Detectives website and see if they had any free ‘twiggy’ downloads. They did! Quite a few actually.
I found this great twig identification sheet which I thought was just perfect to take along with us on our walk to help us identify some of our finds.
Armed with our nature collection bags, and some twiggy vocabulary (short discussion prior to setting off) – we headed out into the great outdoors.
We collected twig samples from many different trees while enjoying the crisp freshness of the morning.
We noticed buds on the twigs and thought it wonderful that even in the depths of winter the tree is preparing for the next season.
As usual, we found many other interesting finds…
Like this fungi.
Once home, we got straight to identifying our twigs and labelling them.
The girls really quite enjoyed this task. Then it was time to fill out our notebook pages, once again, I am amazed at the progress the girls have made in their sketching skills!
I worked in my own nature journal. I have decided to track the progress forcing the twig I brought inside.
It’s a great indoor activity to do and so easy. Bring in a selection of twigs from outside and pop them into a vase of water. Over the next few weeks, you will notice your twig begin to bloom and open. Creating a nature journal page of the twigs progress is fun.
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