The Homeschool Scientist – Fall Tree Study Projects

The fall weather here has been wonderful – perfect weather for getting outside for a nature study. Luckily, my 2nd grade son’s botany unit in his Nancy Larson® Science study just started, so we have been studying plants indoors and out.


We started by taking a look at one of our house plants and naming all the parts my son had just read about. After identifying the parts, my son sketched and labeled the plant on paper for his science binder. (I love keeping a science binder with our Nancy Larson Science study.)


The next phase of our plant study took us outdoors to study the largest plant in our habitat—trees. My son made some bark rubbings and collected leaves. For the first time, he noticed that the bark is so different from tree to tree. Some trees have thin, smooth bark with just a few rough spots. Other trees have thick, deep, furrowed bark.  We added the rubbings to the science binder as well.


When we collected leaves, we tried to get green leaves and leaves that were turning color from the same tree so we could compare them. My son noticed how different tree leaves were turning different colors. That led to an interesting conversation about pigments with my 6th grade daughter.

All the beautiful colors of the leaves inspired both kids to do an art project. First, they drew brown tree trunks and then added some leaves in various colors found in nature. What a great way to wrap up our tree study!

 

Creative Learning Fun – Learning about Pets in Science K

Elizabeth creates printables for young learners and writes at Creative Learning Fun. She uses Nancy Larson® Science K with her daughter Pumpkin. Below is her latest update.

We are chugging along with the Nancy Larson Science K curriculum. A couple of months ago you might have read my review for this curriculum. If you missed it, you can see it here: My Nancy Larson Science K Review. We are still loving it just as much as we did when we started. I honestly cannot say enough wonderful things about this curriculum.


For the past two weeks we have been talking about characteristics of pets. So far, this section of the curriculum is Pumpkin’s absolute favorite. Every time we start our school day, she checks her boxes to make sure I’ve included a science lesson. I am so impressed with how much Pumpkin is learning from this curriculum. So far we have learned about our five senses, how to keep our bodies healthy, and about pets.


The first day in this unit we learned about the many different kinds of pets people can have. Pumpkin was shown a couple of picture cards that showed different kinds of pets. We also listed them out on a piece of paper. Some of the pets that people have shocked Pumpkin. She thought it was hilarious that people can have pigs or chickens as pets. 🙂


For the next couple of days we talked about the different characteristics of each kind of pet (for example; dogs, cats, birds, fish etc.). Pumpkin especially loved the dog and cat slideshows that are included in the Nancy Larson Science K curriculum. I really enjoyed them too! The slideshows make science time exciting and fun for Pumpkin. When she heard that she was going to watch one, she was so excited. The pictures were also wonderful at furthering her understanding of different characteristics in each pet

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For this unit, it was suggested within the curriculum that I put together a veterinarian pretend play box for Pumpkin to explore. Pumpkin absolutely loved this part! I put some of her doctor kit supplies in a box, a measuring stick, a soft pillow and blanket for her patients, and a food bowl and baby bottle.


Since Pumpkin struggles with pretend play, I took it as an opportunity to teach her using scripting and imitation skills. I would bring her a stuffed animal that was “sick.” I’d say something like, “oh poor baby, this kitten has a fever and his nose hurts.” Pumpkin would immediately get to work fixing the kitten up. Since he was a good kitten, he was awarded with a “treat” and a sticker on his nose. 🙂 Our real dogs even jumped into pretend play and played along.
After learning about dogs and cats, we moved on to talking about birds. Pumpkin loved learning about the many different kinds of birds there are and how differently they all look. Pumpkin even got a chance to feel a feather. She loved rubbing it all over her cheek

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Here is a video of me asking her to explain to me the different characteristics of one bird.
Characteristics of Birds


As you can see, she is learning so much and is having a blast doing it! Science time is, hands down, her favorite subject. 🙂
We also did a few activities to further explore the characteristics of birds. Pumpkin made a bird puppet and a booklet explaining the many different kinds of birds. These activities are not part of the curriculum and are not necessary to add. No supplementing is needed for the Nancy Larson Science K curriculum, everything you need is already planned for you perfectly. However, Pumpkin really got into the bird theme so I just went with it. 🙂

The bird puppet is from a book titled, “Alphabet Puppets plus more” by Teacher’s Friend Publications.

Then she did a little booklet that is from the Mailbox Companion.


If you are looking for a science curriculum for next year, I highly recommend you check out Nancy Larson’s homeschool science programs. She has five different programs for ages 5 to 12.

The program we are currently using is the Nancy Larson Science K program. Even though Pumpkin will be enrolling in a school next year, we will continue to use the Nancy Larson science programs at home as part of our afterschooling program. It’s such a fun curriculum!

Want to learn more? Here are some great resources:

Nancy Larson Science K Curriculum
You can check out the other great products here: Nancy Larson Science
Also, check out their very fun blog here: Blooming Scientists
Nancy Larson Science for Homeschool on Facebook

Feel free to ask questions in the comments. You are also welcome and encouraged to contact Madon Dailey if you have more specific questions about the curriculum.

~ Elizabeth

Disclaimer: The product in this review was provided to me for the purpose of conducting a review. However, all opinions are solely mine and are not influenced in any way.