Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Keeping Company - Nature & Science Notebooks

Where science does not teach a child to wonder and admire it has perhaps no educative value. 

A Philosophy of Education by Charlotte Mason

We've started getting back into our regular bush ventures now that the weather is cooling down here,  but this past week we had some outings which weren't done with the intention of nature study, but it occurred anyhow. Bengy found a very large, fat eel while swimming with some friends at a local waterhole; Moozle & I came across a mother duck and three little ducklings in a stream nearby when I took her on a short bike ride; we all saw and identified a 'moor hen' and we sat watching & listening to some large ravens in the park yesterday when we met my eldest daughter for lunch.

Our 'intentional' nature study was diverted a little when I found this wasp nest on the wall outside. We have been studying insects and were going to find out more about bees or mosquitoes until I saw this wasp nest - a ready made opportunity for study:




Insect Life in Australasia by William Gillies is our main book for studying insects but we also use The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Comstock and The Wonderland of Nature by Nuri Mass.




Bengy's Nature Journal:




 Australian Raven, Corvus corooides

 ...I think. Crows and ravens are difficult to distinguish but by the looks of the neck feathers on this one (they are longish) I think it's a raven.




Bengy's Science Notebook:






Dusky Moor Hen, Gallinula tenebrosa



Moozle has been experimenting with various coloured pencils to get the colouring right on the rainbow lorikeet, one of our most common native birds. The outline was done for her so she could concentrate on the colouring.




This is from our study of the Emperor Gum Moth












Characteristics of insects - the last sentence was meant to say that they had three types of mouths, not three mouths:




Exploring & having fun...


11 comments:

  1. Beautiful sketches, Carol. We have Nature journals, but I have seen and read so much about Science journals that we want really want to begin those, too. We are in week 1 of Term 3. Do you think it's too late in the year to begin those? Or should I wait until next year?

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    1. I was just looking back over 'The Living Page' & the pictures of nature notebooks in the book included entries that would be considered more science. eg on p.137 the human ear is in a nature notebook of a student in form IV (8th/9th grade). I don't think it's rigid. We just tended to start a separate notebook for science when we were doing more formal science around about age 12 as we tend to do nature study together whilst science is a separate subject according to their year/age. Bengy's science notebook is mostly narrations on what he's studying. So, in (a long-winded) answer to your question, Lisa, if they're doing their own science it might be easier to start a separate notebook...

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    2. The younger 4 are doing Apologia Astronomy and my 16 yr-old is doing Apologia Physics. I really wish I had known about Science notebooks earlier in the year, because I think they would have been so beneficial to my children, a Science "keeping", of sorts.
      But better late than never; we are beginning Science notebooks next week. :)
      Thank you, Carol.

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  2. Lovely!! And I agree that's likely a raven, as I see crows all the time :)

    Lisa - it is never too late to begin! And as soon as you're ready is the best time.

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    1. Thanks Laura, although our crows might be different to yours?? These were making a sound I always associated with a crow but when I saw them I thought they were ravens.

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  3. That lorikeet is beautiful! I can't believe that's a common bird where you are. :)

    I absolutely love the sketch of the paper wasp nest. We get discarded bits of wasp nests all the time around here; I need to plan to do a bit of a study of one this summer.

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    1. If you heard the racket they make when they all gather together you might change your opinion, Celeste! We have some gorgeously coloured birds but their voices don't match their beauty.

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  4. HOW awesome!!!!!!!!!!! This is so encouraging and inspiring. Love the duck! Quack! :)

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    1. Yes, I love them too. Pity I didn't have my camera with me when we saw the baby ducklings.

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  5. I like the idea of a separate formal science notebook. My son has been writing answers to exercises and definitions his dad wants him to go over, but no drawings or diagrams or narrations. Again the blank notebook allows for more flexibility, so perhaps I should switch him over. thanks for sharing all these lovely photos and explanations.

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