Thursday, March 22, 2012

One Small Square Backyard - Heading Outdoors for Science Class

With the beautiful weather we've been having lately, I've been trying to do at least part of our schooling outside each day. Now that we have a roof over the back deck, we've been utilizing that space for table work. Yesterday, we drove into town, took a trip to the library, and then spread a blanket out at the park and finished our reading for the day.

Today was no exception. I recently purchased several books that are part of a series known as "One Small Square." Today we started the One Small Square Backyard book. After reading the first several pages together, I gave each child a bag with a magnifying glass, an art journal, a pencil, and a spade for some small-scale digging.

Then I had them each choose an area of our backyard that they would like to examine and observe. I then marked off a one-yard-square area using white spray paint (I thought about using twigs or yarn or something but thought those things would be too easily bumped and moved around, and I want the kids to make multiple observations of their areas over an extended time period.)

The kids had a blast digging, observing, recording, and just plain old wondering about how worms can be cut in half and still move, why the ant Ian found had a baby-blue-colored abdomen, why there was so much moss growing on the ground in Ian's chosen area under the shady trampoline compared to Lily's spot out in the sun, etc.

As the kids observed and dug and studied, they recorded their findings and observations in their journals.

These is a great spring science activity. It's a nice way to change things up a bit in our science lessons, promote scientific curiosity and creativity, and also a great way to take advantage of this wonderful spring weather.

Resource: One Small Square: Backyard


Melissa said...

Omg! We could have nearly identical posts if I had put our Nature Study from a few weeks ago on my blog! We love the Small Square books and had a wonderful time digging and discovering in our little squares!
I particularly LOVE the way your precious boy is squatting under the trampoline...both of mine do the exact same thing! :) I look at them and think "oh, my knees"!

Unknown said...

what a great idea! love the magnifying picture. I want to do this!