The Handbook of Nature Study blog is the home of the weekly Outdoor Hour Challenge which encourages families to enjoy the nature in their own backyards through simple activities and nature journals. A global community of families link up with the Outdoor Hour Challenge community in a monthly newsletter and blog carnival.
Outdoor Hour Challenge #2
Using Your Words
1. Read page 15 in the Handbook of Nature Study. (The Field Excursion) Read page 23-24 in the Handbook of Nature Study (How to Use This Book) Make note of any points you want to remember.
**See This Nature Study Resources post to download a free copy of The Handbook of Nature Study and many more great nature resources!
2. “It is a mistake to think that a half day is necessary for a field lesson, since a very efficient field trip may be made during the ten or fifteen minutes at recess, if it is well planned.” Challenge yourself to take another 10-15 minute “excursion” outdoors in your own yard again this week. Before setting out on your walk, sit with your children and explain to them that when you remain quiet during your nature time, you are more likely to hear interesting things. Brainstorm some sounds they might hear and build some excitement about remaining quiet during their nature walk this week. Take your walk and if they get rowdy, use the universal finger over your lips sign to get them to quiet down. Set a good example and be quiet yourself, modeling how to listen carefully.
Quiet is something my younger two may never master! We are working diligently both inside during our work time as well as on our nature walks to minimize the amount of extra noise they create with their voices as well as their bodies.
3. After your walk, challenge your children to come up with words to describe the following things:
One word to describe something they heard. (For example: rustling, snapping, crunching or chirping)
Two words for something they saw. (For example: tall trees, frozen water, red birds)
Chloe: big ducks
Jayden: trees, birds
Three words for something they felt. (For example: freezing cold wind, rough sticky pine cone)
Chloe: the icy air
Jayden: I felt delighted!
4. Optional nature journal entry:
Use their words as the basis for a simple nature journal entry. If the child is too young to write in the journal himself, you can write for them. “Everything he learns should be added to his nature notebook by him or, if he’s too little to write, his mother.” Charlotte Mason, volume 1, page 58.
Given that it is Springtime here in NY, which means we have tons of robins around, we decided to focus our time on them. They are nesting all around our neighborhood. We hear them with their high-pitched calls from rooftops, and treetops.
Then we took to working on drawing them, alongside a poem that included both robins as well as many sounds of nature which was the focus of this challenge.
How To Draw a Robin
2. Chloe prefers the step by step instructions from dragoart.com
We read about the robin in the Handbook of Nature Study
Favorite Raffi Song
(you can find this by Raffi on Singable Songs for the Very Young album)
Robin in the Rain
Robin in the rain,
Such a saucy fellow.
Robin in the rain,
Mind your socks of yellow.
Running in the garden on your nimble feet,
Digging for your dinner with your long strong beak.
Robin in the rain,
You don’t mind the weather
Showers always make you gay.
Bet the worms are wishing you would stay at home,
Robin on a rainy day — don’t get your feet wet,
Robin on a rainy day!
Free Robin Resources
- American Robin – Free Printables, Resources & Crafts
- Free Feathered Friends Lessons – includes printables and activities for each month of the year.
- Free Printable Coloring Book with 48 species of common feeder birds, including observation questions to go along with coloring each bird.