This week’s theme is Winter Ponds. Having visited our pond area the other day, today we settled down to draw what we had seen. We kicked off with a bit of face painting . I’m not sure they fully grasped the idea though 🙂 We had a dragonfly (possible but later in the year), a fish (a slightly too tropical species, but at least we do get fish in ponds), and a shark…eeeerrrrrmmm…..
We decided to have a little change of idea with our nature journals this week. We thought we would sketch in charcoal and pastel chalks to change style a bit. Mini man no.2 wasn’t up for this at all today, so we left him happily immersed in play people. We made swatches of colour that the area seemed to be in the winter (greys, dark greens, and browns), and drawings of our reeds (2 types, marginal plants and emergent plants). We did also draw a swan, although he wasn’t in our winter ponds. Now, we don’t have any wild fowl on our pond, but lots do, and our coastal waters surrounding the island are home to many, many swans. We thought it would be nice to include one in our drawings as we see them every day.
Our book for the week is “By Pond and River” by Arabella Buckley. In this book children are introduced to the plant and animal life around ponds and rivers. We are reading a chapter a day; frogs, dragonflies, fish, waterbugs, waterbirds, otters, and voles are included. Our poem was a rather jolly one called “A Sledding Song” by Norman C Schlichter, and the piece of art we looked at was “Pond Pass” by Neil Welliver.
We enjoyed experimenting with our charcoal and blending our pastels together. We find that both of them are a lot more forgiving to draw with (the result looks better than it actually is!). It’s been such looking at winter ponds, as it is not something I would have thought to have done. Make sure you keep an eye on the blog to see what winter pond maths, English, science, and craft we have been up to 🙂
The Nature Curriculum we use is, “Exploring Nature with Children. A complete, year-long curriculum”. It is a beautifully written framework, written by Raising Little Shoots, and can be found over at https://raisinglittleshoots.com/ It suggests a topic for the week, and then provides some background information and suggestions for nature journaling and outdoor exploring. It also provides a comprehensive suggested reading list (fiction and non-fiction) for each week, plus a poem and a piece of art to study. There are extensions activity ideas too. We use the topic as the theme for our week, and follow the ideas for our journaling, and one fiction book. What we have been doing from the curriculum can be found on our curriculum overview post. The craft, science, maths, and English ideas we have researched ourselves to fit in with the theme 🙂 This makes a learning a lot more nature based.