Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Nature Studies: Evergreens

What a perfect nature study challenge for us this week - Evergreens! Surrounding our house is a FOREST of beautiful, stately Evergreens to explore: Eastern White Pines, Blue Spruce, and Balsam Fir. Our focus this week was to explore the yard, identifying different evergreens and comparing their needle-shaped leaves, cones and bark.
Our Reference Books for This Nature Study
So, we bundled up and headed out to explore the yard on an overcast, chilly day. Trudging through the deep snow covered with ice was a bit rough, so we didn't venture into our woods far. We found some interesting animal tracks and most of us think they're possibly raccoon. 
Raccoon Tracks?
We identified our three main types of conifers and one evergreen shrub, took samples and headed back inside to warm up. The kids observed QUICKLY that the curled rhododendron leaf uncurled in the warmth of the house. They decided to experiment by placing the leaf in the freezer and taking it out to watch it uncurl over and over.
S's Surprised to see the Rhododendron Uncurl
Our Needle (and a Cone) Samples
C Checking Out the Pine Needles Close-Up
After discussing the differences in the needles, including shape, color, how they feel and smell, and how they grow, the kids wrote up their notebooking pages.
J's Notebook Page
C's Notebook Page
S's Notebook Page
Check out other Winter Wednesday and Outdoor Hour Challenges at Handbook of Nature Study Blog and enjoy other Science "happenings" at Science Sunday!


  1. I find these posts very inspiring. I keep wanting to have nature study and notebooking pages and yet still haven't implemented them. And I can't even use the weather as an excuse since we're in the same state! ;-)

  2. ohh that looks so fun!! we recently read that book with our bear study!! it was really a fun book!! xoxo

  3. love it! we have the "who pooped in the desert book" and enjoy it.

    love your nature studies!

  4. We have Who Pooped in the is a great series. I am so glad that you are taking advantage of the nature study opportunities that you have with your evergreens. Sometimes we forget that to children the "common" things we have around us are interesting to them. I think they learned some new things this time!

    Great notebook pages too! Thanks for sharing your link with the OHC.

  5. I totally love the picture of them watching the rhododendron uncurl!!

  6. Very cool study!

    I am not sure if you read the blog The Rogers Family Blog?

    By the looks for your blog, it looks like you would really enjoy it:

    Coming through from Science Sunday.

  7. Wow, those are very detailed nature journals!

  8. Those are wonderful nature journals. I keep dreaming of doing something like that, but have yet to follow through.

    Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!


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