We are all getting a bit stir crazy, but most of us are still able to get out for walks, bike rides, etc. Use this opportunity to observe and investigate the natural world around you. If you are not able to go on a nature walk, there are a ton of virtual field trips through national parks and zoo’s that you can use instead.
How to Start: Go for a walk or take a virtual field trip! On your trip look around. What catches your eye? Take notes, draw pictures or bring a camera to take pictures of the things that interest you.
What to do next: When you get home, make a list of everything you saw. What did you draw or take pictures of? Why? Can you identify what you saw? Do some research, the depth of research depends on your child/children’s age. Younger kiddos can identify what they found. Older kiddos can delve deeper into the scientific name, family, genus, etc. Look into where everything you saw fits in the food chain/food web. What other areas in the world can they be found?
Expand it: How can you bring in other content areas?
- Science: What is photosynthesis? How to animals digest their food? What happens if part of the food chain/food web is disrupted? What can you do to support scientific research?
- Technology: What technology do experts use to investigate nature? Think about technology you can use to investigate both up close and far away.
- Engineering: Can you make a simple or complex machine that mimics what you saw? How do engineers use what they learn from nature?
- Arts: Make some nature art! Use what you find to make a picture. Or grab some vines and make a basket.
- Math: What did you find more of? Less of? What shapes and patterns did you see in nature?
- National AfterSchool Association STEM GEMS: https://indd.adobe.com/view/001714ee-4802-4695-8f50-5d9f4944116f
- National Geographic Explorer series with Nirupa Rao: Illustrating Nature https://www.nationalgeographic.org/education/student-experiences/explorer-classroom/
- National Geographic citizen science activity: Bioblitz https://www.nationalgeographic.org/media/do-it-yourself-bioblitz/
- Discovery Education activity on the Fibonacci Sequence: https://streaming.discoveryeducation.com/teacherCenter/lessonPlans/pdfs/9-12_Math_FibonacciSequence.pdf
- HomeschoolMath.net activity for younger kiddos on the Fibonacci Sequence: https://www.homeschoolmath.net/teaching/fibonacci_golden_section.php
- Project Learning Tree Web of Life activity (free download): https://www.plt.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Food-Chains-Web-of-Life-activity.pdf
- Five on-line tools from Edutopia: https://www.edutopia.org/article/getting-kids-outdoors-technology
- Adventures in Familyhood list of 20 virtual field trips: https://adventuresinfamilyhood.com/20-virtual-field-trips-to-take-with-your-kids.html?fbclid=IwAR1jNUrI1FthVYR9Slu64gbuviEIE6QVxxoim8TdwnkbuETsMjrUyLeMIpM