It’s time for an adventure! With many people adjusting to “social distancing” due to COVID-19, this is a good opportunity to go visit a park, or take a walk in your area. My area is not permitting children to be on playgrounds for the time being, so it was neat to see someone’s creativity in our local park. Here are a couple of pictures.
I do love the idea and I saw families in the distance reading the sign beneath a teddybear. Please note it is strategically placed above the reach of many children, yet still inviting.
We, children and adults alike, enjoy finding things! Maybe it’s the joy of finding clothing on sale, or locating the missing shoe that your little one was using as a boat for their toy characters. For them it may be the fun of finding the crayon that ran away.
Here’s something I’ve been intending to share, but now seems like just the right time. Nature scavenger hunts are a neat option! (If you are not able to get outside and into nature, I will share pictures with you to use at the end of this post!)
The night sky:
Where is the moon? Why?
Can you find Orion?
Where are the Bear and her cubs (the big and little dipper)?
The day sky:
What do you see in the clouds?
What birds do you see flying overhead? What sounds do they make?
How many leaves do you see? What colors are they? How are they different and similar to eachother?
Can you spot a bug? How would you describe it?
Do you see any trees with buds? Why?
Can you find any mushrooms growing on a log? Why?
Do you see any feathers on the ground? Why would there be feathers here?
What sounds do you hear? What is the loudest sound? What is the faintest sound?
Point to a squirrel? How many can we find today?
Do you see any acorns? Why?
What kinds of footprints do you see? What direction was the creature going?
Do you see any flowers growing in the yards we walk by? What kinds? What colors?
What is the tallest tree on our block?
What is the smallest plant you can find?
Are we or our shadows taller right now? Why?
Why are our shadows that direction?
What types of stones and rocks do you see?
Can you find a shell? Where did it come from?
How many living things can you find on this beach in 1 minute?
A rainy day:
What is the deepest puddle you can find?
Do you see any worm trails? What direction was the worm going (this is easy to tell if you find the worm as well)?
What smells do you notice after the rain?
Do you see any animals that came outside after the rain? Why might animals like the rain?
Looking around, noticing details, and asking questions are important skills for any child to have.
Here are some other ideas to make a walk a fun learning opportunity:
· Take pictures of what you find.
· Make a list of things found on a recent walk, or a list of things to look for on your next walk.
· Have your child draw pictures of what they saw outside.
· Find books or other texts about things your family sees outside. Read that together or if it is on your child’s reading level, have him or her read it. Perhaps they can make an infographic about it!
· Collect rocks and research what type they are.
· Collect leaves and research types of trees. You can take pictures of the tree as well.
If you are not able to go outside, here are some pictures you can use!
Any of these ideas can be adjusted to what you and your family need. Here are some related educational standards. I'm choosing some from kindergarten, fourth, and seventh grades because they offer a span of learning expectations for children.
K.ESS.2 Describe and compare objects seen in the night and day sky, observing that the sun and moon move across the sky. (Indiana Department of Education)
K.LS.2 Describe and compare the physical features of common living plants and animals. (Indiana Department of Education)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.4 Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.5 Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.6 Speak audibly and express thoughts, feelings, and ideas clearly.
Fourth grade standards:
4.LS.3 Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction in a different ecosystems. (Indiana Department of Education)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.1.C Pose and respond to specific questions to clarify or follow up on information, and make comments that contribute to the discussion and link to the remarks of others.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.2 Paraphrase portions of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.4.4 Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
Seventh grade standards:
7.ESS.1 Identify and investigate the properties of minerals. Identify and classify a variety of rocks based on physical characteristics from their origin, and explain how they are related using the rock cycle. (i.e. Sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks) (Indiana Department of Education)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.7.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 7 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.7.1.C Pose questions that elicit elaboration and respond to others' questions and comments with relevant observations and ideas that bring the discussion back on topic as needed.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.6-8.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; provide an accurate summary of the text distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
What types of things does your family enjoy looking for outside?
How do you invite your children to observe things in nature?
What creative ideas have you seen utilized during this time of “social distancing?”