Friday, November 18, 2011

Nature Studies: Eastern White Pine and Pine Cones

The Trees have been asking (and asking) about Nature Studies lately. Formal nature studies! We ALWAYS talk "nature" out on the trails, but they've been hankering for something a little more in-dept and hands-on with field guides. Not wanting to make our nature studies "schoolish" but at the same time meeting their learning desires, I decided to print-out and combine simple notebooking pages with outdoor exploration and hands-on activities. So, we're starting with our tree names! (I have no idea where we'll find MY tree name: Sweet Pepperbush! LOL)

Eastern White Pine and Pine Cones! The pine tree is our state tree and it's flower, the pine cone and tassel, is our state, well, flower. LOL These trees can grow up to 100 feet high and are plentiful in Maine forests and used for furniture making.

 No nature study is complete without some outside exploration, right? So, we headed out to compare young and old pine tree bark, and dead and living pine needles (leaves!).

 And then we gathered some closed and opened pine cones and a few bunches of needles and headed inside. Did you know that Eastern Pine trees have clusters of 5 pine needles? (It's easy to remember if you think that 5 needles can stand for W-H-I-T-E! LOL) Red pines have clusters for 2 needles. Anyway, the kids carefully took apart pine cones searching for seeds, and then decided to plant the seeds in pots.

Using our favorite field guides, the trees filled out notebooking pages.

Balsam Fir
Sugar Maple

White Pine

Up next: Sugar Maple...although the maples are looking a bit BARE this time of year! LOL


  1. Wow! I love how detailed their drawings are! And, kudos to you mom, for finding something that both interested and educated them at the same time! I just love hands-on activities!

    Many blessings,

  2. What a great study for nature.

  3. You are doing a really nice job with nature study!

  4. You nature study looks very interesting and seems that kids really enjoy it!
    Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I swear...with each post you have me closer n' closer to moving north! LOVE!


  6. I really wish I would have thought to do tree study before they froze!! LOL. Thanks for stopping in :)

  7. What a great study! Fantastic photos, too - I may have to drag my kids out to look at some trees today. :)

  8. I am adding your blog to my blog reader, you have wonderful ideas! Thank you for stopping by my blog.

  9. Hello again!

    Your blog has inspired me and many times has touched my heart. I would like to pass along the "Sunshine Award." For details, see my blog. Much love and congratulations! :-)))

  10. Thanks for linking up with Brag Time Thursday! I love it!

  11. Great tree study.. thanks for sharing with the OHC Blog Carnival.


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