The month of March in the Nature Curriculum, is a difficult one for us. Everything is still very much still asleep here in Sweden. The temperatures are still below freezing, and snow is still falling from the sky. There are signs that spring is on its way with more daylight hours, and a lot more birdsong, but it takes a lot longer to get going here! So, I juggled the weeks around, choosing to do snails this week, as I thought we could find some. Well, I was very wrong!! I have done a lot of research for extension activities (see my pinterest page https://uk.pinterest.com/mammasschool/nature-curriculum-snails/ ) but we couldn’t do a lot of them without an actual snail!! So, we have done the theory and a little bit of craft (blog post to come), and we have tried our best! Luckily all three children remember snail races and other activities we did late last spring back in the UK, so all is not lost!
For our nature journals we sketched a picture from an image on the computer, in the absence of a real model! We looked at a snail’s anatomy, their habitat, and their diet. We learnt about how they move and travel, and the best fact was that they had little tongue like organs covered in tiny razor teeth like things to grind their food up! The children learnt they have no backbone (invertebrates), and belong to the phylum mollusc. They learnt that the large foot the snail has, places them into the gastropod class. The trio also had a printed off snail diagram to label (the twins and I did it together due to the lack of reading skills, but they enjoyed the process of labelling).
This week’s fiction book is “The Adventurous Snail” by Dick King Smith. We are enjoying the tale still as it is a longer story and needs to be read in a few sittings. We also dug out Julia Donaldson’s “The Snail and the Whale” which is a firm favourite for all three of the children. The poem this week was “Snail” by Langston Hughes.
We have still learnt quite a bit about snails, but we were unfortunately unable to do any practical work with them. We’ve still had fun though with what we have done 🙂
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.