Tuesday, July 29, 2008
The Nature Notebook is a great way to do science with your young elementary school age child. The premise is simple: (1)take a notebook and pencil outside; (2)find something interesting; (3)draw it. After Lucy draws something (today it was 2 daddy long-legs spiders), we look up more information about it, either on the Internet, or in one of the reference books we are slowly collection. For insects, the DK Smithsonian Handbook is great. We have discovered all sorts of interesting creatures in our yard, including a praying mantis, various kinds of bees, water scavenger beetles, horse flies, crickets, grasshoppers, lady bugs, etc. etc. For most insects, Lucy likes to write a few interesting facts about them to compliment the drawing. Today for the spiders we found a couple of spider poems on the Internet to go with the drawing -- "A Noiseless Patient Spider," by Walt Whitman and "The Spider and the Fly," by Mary Howitt, thus combining our science study with a bit of good literature. Here is a great blog for more information about using a Nature Notebook.
When we started keeping a Nature Notebook in the fall, I had no idea it was part of the Charlotte Mason method of education, which we are going to try out this year for third grade. I'll post more about the method and why we are trying out, later on.