I am happy to have discovered the Green Hour Challenges by Barb at The Heart of Harmony. Each Friday she gives a new nature lesson/challenge for anyone who wants to participate. The idea behind it is to encourage us to get outside and delve into nature study with our children. We love nature around here, and as soon as I learned about these challenges I knew we had to give it a try.
For this week's challenge we were to mark off a small square of earth and then see how many different things we could find in it. We marked off a two-foot square, which we all explored together. We found lots of dry leaves, grass, twigs, an acorn, and a couple of speedy ants who did not want to be observed. Then we began digging. Everyone went to town with their trowels, and Superman and Giggly Girl each uncovered a wiggly earthworm. We put them in some plastic cups with a bit of dirt to keep them comfy, and then took them into the kitchen to sketch them in our nature journals.
I read a few lines from the Handbook of Nature Study, and was surprised that the kids had so many earthworm questions. I ended up reading a bit more than I had planned to in order to find the answers. I have to admit that even though I shared their excitement in finding the worms, I wasn't overly enthused over learning about them. But when I saw how excited the children were and how many questions they had, it motivated me to muster up some earthworm enthusiasm. A couple of things we learned: Earthworms have no eyes and they are deaf. They have a gizzard which contains sand that acts as a kind of millstone. The soil gets tilled there, and this makes it richer and better for growing things.
Here are a few pictures from our challenge:
The Prize - Giggly Girl had to name hers - she christened him Wiggles. :)
Of course, Sweet Pea had to join in the fun!
I appreciate Barb taking the time to put these Green Hour Challenges together. This challenge brought some nice variety to our nature study today, and we had a ball doing it! We'll definitely be participating in more of these in the future.