Here are some plants that I have seen during my walks in the woods. Some of the plants are native to Wisconsin and some are invasive species.
Queen Anne’s lace
Common milkweek seeds. These are really soft and fun to see fly in the wind. If you open the pod slowly you can see the seeds arranged in a spiral.
These are easy to find in the fall. Just go for a walk in the woods and you will end up with some stuck to you. I use these in lessons to show the students where the idea of Velcro came from.
Puffball mushroom. These are pretty cool. They can get to be the size of a soccer ball.
We are going to the apple barn tomorrow to pick apples! We also get to sample apples, cider and my favorite, apple doughnuts!
We have been doing apple science all week. We weighed apples, measured how tall they were, made a graph of the most popular ones, made apple prints (with the inedible apples from my apple tree) read many books on the life cycle of apple trees, painted trees in the different seasons and watched videos about apples. We learned the difference between apple juice and apple cider and how both are made.
We made mini books about apples using the color words red, green and yellow. The book goes like this: Apples can be red. Apples can be green. I won’t give away the ending. The purpose was to read independently.
Today we made apple sauce and looked at apples that had been set out with and without lemon juice and compared them. We talked about how making apples into sauce was an “irreversable change” thanks Sid the Science kid. Apples can be made into sauce but the sauce cannot be made back into apples. Hopefully we will watch the Sid Episode about this tomorrow. We also talked about how heat changes things. The apples were crunchy in the beginning and mushy after being cooked. They also changed color.
I was so busy with everything that I forgot to take pictures. One of the days we put apples in the water table and noticed how they floated. We read a book about how chlorophyll covers up the leaves actual color and makes them look green. In the fall the chlorophyll fades and you can see the leaves true color.
Tomorrow we are going to plant apple seeds to see if they will grow. We might make a chart with some of the words we learned about apples. Crunchy, mushy, core, stem, seeds, life cycle, float, sink, peel, skin, oxidation, chlorophyll. Lots of good vocabulary.
I found an interesting site with ideas to use to get kids interacting nature. ,This site has ideas on how to get kids to appreciate nature. Actually, I think that kids already appreciate nature, it is the adults in their world that do not allow them the opportunity to be in nature. What kid does not love to play with rocks and sticks?
There are lots of great ideas to use with kids on the small wonders blog. Some ideas are more fit for use at home rather than at school. Anything that gets kids playing outside is a good idea. http://www.myantsykids.blogspot.com/
The Green Hearts site also has great ideas on nature play. http://www.greenheartsinc.org
This site has tons of information about science from early childhood to college. http://nstacommunities.org/blog/2009/03/22/using-tools-to-move-water/ I kept reading articles and then clicking on related articles. The lesson pictured is about using tools to move water. What a fun and simple hands on experience. This could lead to rich vocabulary lesson about volume, more, less, efficient, predict or practical. They could also add tubes to the lesson on a different day to discover how different sized tubes move water. Then find tubes in the house or school that move water.
Did you know that there is even an international Mud day!! I need to look more into this. http://nstacommunities.org/blog/2013/06/28/summertime-science-investigations-and-international-mud-day/comment-page-1/#comment-126128