It’s getting to be that time of year when the tadpoles are swimming in our pond. It makes me feel as if spring is truly coming and we look forward to soon hearing frogs while out hiking at the river. The cycle of seasons and life bring me such joy!
With that in mind, I’ve had a special printable to share once spring made its arrival. Members now have in their library a fun and informative Frog Life Cycle activity printable.
Here’s what you get in this download:
In the lapbook there are components for vocabulary, frog facts, bullfrog facts, frog noises, and the frog life cycle. In the lapbook you can also mount your life cycle of a frog drawing (instructions for this drawing project are included). There is also a set of copy work pages focusing on frog poetry. There are two blank lined pages you can use for the copy work, as well as a page of frog poetry and suggestions for how to use them.
Members who have an Ultimate or Journey level membership will be able to log into their account and find the two printables there to use this spring.
To go along with a frog nature study, you can click over to the Pond Life – 4 Seasons Nature Activity entry found in the archives. Everyone can use the suggestions in this entry along with a few free printables to follow up a nature walk at a pond, the river, or a lake.
Now available in the Ultimate and Journey level memberships:
1. Autumn Weed Notebook Page: This notebook page is a complement to any autumn weed or wildflower nature study. During the month of October, we will be studying jewelweed and prickly lettuce. If you don’t have either of those plants to study in real life, you can use this notebook page along with any weed or wildflower you want to focus on. You can get some autumn weed nature study ideas here: Autumn Weed Study.
2. Pond Nature Study Set-18 pages of notebooking pages included: As part of your family’s autumn nature study, you can start a year long pond study. Use the notebook pages in this set to follow up your pond time with a few of the more common subjects you may encounter. Topics include: dragonfly, damselfly, ducks, freshwater clams, mayfly, nutria, reeds, smartweed, water boatman, water snails, water spiders, water strider, whirligig beetles, aquatic insects, aquatic plants, pond fish, pond mammals, and tracks in the mud.
If you would like some pond study ideas, you can click over to see this study from my archives: Pond Study.
(See the end of this post for more information on how you can become a member.)
Print a complete list of printables available in the Ultimate and Journey level memberships by clicking the button above.
Members also have access to the Nature Planner pages in their library.
Print out this month’s page and use it to stimulate your weekly nature study time.
These are Amazon affiliate links to two books I have purchased and used with my family’s pond study.
The theme of the link-up for August is Water – River, Stream, Pond. I decided to share one of the books that we used for our study of local ponds. This compact book is a terrific source of information for all ages. It’s detailed enough for an older student to use as a reference and it has colorful illustrations that will capture the interest of younger students.
You can look for it at your public library or it’s available from Amazon (note that I’m an Amazon affiliate and there are affiliate links in this entry).
You can use this as a reference book or field guide during your pond study. Or, read a few pages a week over a longer period and learn about pond life in preparation for a future pond study. There are sections for plant life and animal life in this book, including birds, reptiles, fish, and mammals. In addition, there are simple illustrations for really small things you might collect in pond water, looking at them up close with a magnifying lens or microscope.
We have owned and read this book several times during our homeschool studies. I’ve kept it in our nature library even now as a quick way to learn more about things we see in our own pond/stream.
“Almost any of the fishes found in a brook or pond may be kept in an aquarium for a few days of observation in the schoolroom. A large water pail or a bucket does very well if there is no glass aquarium. ” Handbook of Nature Study, page 145
Note: This post is part of a monthly series of posts I’m writing as part of a fantastic group of nature loving women who I’m linking up with on the 20th of each month. There’s a topic of the month and we’ll all share a book and activity that goes along with that theme. Use the linky tool below to share your own nature walk related links this month too.
Check out these other links for more nature walk ideas from Nature Book Club Co-Hosts!
Read pages 425-432 in the Handbook of Nature Study (Lesson #108). I think Anna Botsford Comstock really liked crayfish because this lesson is so very detailed! It makes me wish we had a crayfish to observe up close but for now we will enjoy her description.
Highlight interesting facts in the lesson to share with your children.
Plan a trip to a local creek to look for your own crayfish or other aquatic inhabitants. If you don’t have any crayfish to observe, make sure to create a nature journal page with any subjects your child finds of interest.
Take along a plastic tub or jar to collect some creek water. Use your magnifying lens to look for anything interesting in your water.
Create a nature journal entry for crayfish, any other aquatic creatures you observed, or the creek water.
Use the notebook pages and/or the coloring pagein the ebook to create a memory of your outdoor time.
Advanced Study: Draw a crayfish for your nature journal and label its parts. Record any interesting facts you learned and want to remember.
Advanced Study: Do some research on arthropods and create a notebook page to record the definition, a list of arthropods, and your favorite facts about arthropods.
Join us for this spring series of challenges every week here on the Handbook of Nature Study.
If you want to purchase the Spring Nature Study Continues ebook so you can follow along with all the notebooking pages, coloring pages, and subject images, you can join the Ultimate or Journey Membership Levels. See the Join Us page for complete information. Also, you can view the Spring Nature Study Continues – New Ebookannouncement page for more details.
In two weeks, we start the summer series from the new ebook, Summer Nature Study Continues.
This week we are going to use our senses and do a little cattail observation! Make sure to click over to the original challenge to see the list in the Train Your Senses section to get some ideas for your family to try. Also in the challenge, make sure to read the lesson in the Handbook of Nature Study. If you already started a year-long cattail study, revisit your spring spot and note the changes.
As a bonus for this challenge I am including the Summer Pond Study notebook page and the Pond Study Grid from the August 2011 Newsletter!
Getting Started Suggestion:
If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #3.This week you should take a trip to your cattail patch and make some drawings. You can use a blank page in your nature journal or use the notebook page included in the ebook.
Our challenge from last week was to find and observe some spring cattails: Springtime Cattail Observations.We headed over to our local park where we had observed some fabulous cattails last year. Because of the drought, there are not as many as we had noticed during the summer of 2013 and they were much smaller than expected. We are going to mark our calendar to make some summer observations and compare our results.
There was enough water in the pond to see a beautiful reflection of the clouds and there were insects making little ripples and bubbles in the water. We estimated that the cattails were about three feet high and we will compare the height when we return this summer.
When we took a closer look at the water’s edge, we saw an old cattail that had disintegrated into a soft pile of fluff. What a great find!
Using the Nature Journal Topper from the April 2014 newsletter, I created a nature journal page with some of my observations and a simple sketch.
Hopefully, your family will get a chance to find a place with cattails for your springtime observations. If you started a year-long study already, return to your cattail spot to make some comparisons for your nature journal.
Do you know where there are cattails in your area?
This is a classic springtime study here on the Outdoor Hour Challenge. Take a few minutes this week to think about where you might find some cattails to observe. If nothing else, take a walk at a local stream or pond to explore the springtime weather with your children.
If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #2. Take a walk and then discuss with your children what they enjoyed during their outdoor time. Help them find words to record in their nature journal or you can follow up with the accompanying notebook page from the ebook. Additional idea: While you are out during your outdoor time, find a wildflower, weed, or leaf to put into your flower press.
Outdoor Hour Challenge:
This week you will need to find a local pond to explore. I might suggest taking a look at the Turtles and Pondweed Challenge for a few ideas. This challenge also includes a free printable Pond Study which will expand your study beyond turtles and pondweed.
Printable Activity: Seasonal Pond Study Notebook Page
Use this notebook page to record your spring pond study observations and then revisist your pond in each season to compare plants, insects, birds, fish, reptiles, and amphibians. Printable Seasonal Pond Study Notebook Page
Getting Started Suggestion:
If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #10. This week take an opportunity to get outside and enjoy a picnic lunch or snack. Use the ideas in this challenge to create a fun nature study experience for your family. Complete the accompanying notebook page for your nature journal while you are outdoors!
I was given the opportunity to purchase a 1911 version of the Handbook of Nature Study….with all its well worn pages…all still intact and in very good shape. I jumped at the chance to have as a keepsake the volume in its original form. Thanks Anna Botsford Comstock for caring enough to write these lessons down for all of us that follow you.
My new Handbook is very similar to the current version that I use but what makes it nice is the layout….only one column on a page, original clipart, diagrams, little extra references to books and brochures that probably no longer exist. The charm of this book is how it is still relevant today…..one hundred years later.
We had the chance to visit Grandpa’s pond last week and since the weather has been so dry, the creek fed pond is getting a little low. There is still a spring underneath keeping it wet enough for the critters that depend on it for water. We were surprised to see all the frog heads with bulging eyes sticking up above the water. They really do blend in except if they move….the duck weed is thick on the top and it makes the frogs look like they have beards.
Where’s the frog?
You need to move slowly or they plop under the water very fast. I was able to zoom in and get a few images of the frog heads for us to look at on the computer screen. We consulted our favorite frog and toad website: California Frogs and Toads. We are fairly sure it is an American Bullfrog…. we are going back later this week and we will take our field guide to confirm the identification.
In the Handbook of Nature Study in lesson 47, the suggestions are all things that we would need to really spend some time investigating and perhaps even catching one and taking a closer look. We decided to narrow our study down to a few things:
#3 Describe the colors and markings of the frog on the upper and on the under side. How do these protect it from observations from above? below? How do we usually discover that we are in the vicinity of a frog?
#4 Describe the frog’s ears, eyes, nostrils, and mouth.
#6 How does the frog feel to your hand? Is it easy to hold him?
Those seem like logical questions to keep in mind when we go back again next week. We will update this entry when we answer the questions.
I look forward to seeing some of your pond studies or any other nature studies you have completed this month. Make sure to submit your entries to the Outdoor Hour Challenge Blog Carnival. You can submit your entries by following this LINK.
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