What a fantastic week we’ve just had to study this subject. When the temperatures stay well below zero all week, and you get bright winter skies so that you can see spectacular sunrises and sunsets, mixed with howling icy winds, plus snow flurries, you can feel you are truly experiencing winter. For the nature journal activity this week we sketched a picture of the winter sky, choosing to depict a sunrise we had seen on our picnic. We also wrote factual information about the sunrise such as time, date, place, temperature, and the weather conditions.
We didn’t need any encouragement to snuggle up together with this week’s suggested story, “The Story of the Snow Children” by Sibyl Von Olfers. However, we added a few of our own stories into the reading session too. We have our lovely “Moomin and the Winter Snow” that we felt was very appropriate with the snow falling all day outside, and then we have a lovely “Children’s Atlas of Weather” as well. We didn’t read all of this (a bit heavy for the twins!), but we read and chatted about what was relevant to this week’s topic. The pictures were really good as they kept the twins interested in the subject even when they didn’t quite get what the little lady and I were talking about. We read 2 poems. The first one was the suggested poem “A Winter Dawn” by Lucy Maud Montgomery, and the second one was “January” by Elsa Beskow, as it was our first week doing the nature curriculum in January.
The extension activities for the week were really good, especially for our little lady’s maths skills. We needed to make a very basic rain catcher, measure the rain, and then make a bar chart to show the rainfall at the same time each day. It wasn’t really a very rainy week, but we did get some! The other graph we did was measuring the temperature at 8am every morning and plotting this onto a line graph. Our little lady was learning about minus and plus temperatures, as well as how to plot them onto a graph. She really enjoyed making these graphs. Our rain catcher had to be wedged on top of our well between the handle on the lid and a brick so it didn’t blow off in the high winds we were having all week, but so that it was still accessible for any rain! So this week, not only has she learnt to plot and draw 2 different styles of graphs, but she has also learnt about labelling, adding units of measurements and scale, and plotting onto them.
The little lady also wrote a poem about the winter as one of her extension activities. This is something she finds quite difficult, so I am really pleased that she tried, and then put it into her nature journal with some illustrations 🙂
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.