Outdoor Hour Challenge #41
Flowerless plants-General Overview
1. This week you need to familiarize yourself with the section in the Handbook of Nature Study that discusses flowerless plants. Turn to the table of contents and in Part III, go to the list of flowerless plants and skim down the list of topics covered. The suggested readings for this challenge will be in the following categories:
Ferns-read the overview on page 693 and then turn to page 695 to see the parts of a fern labeled. Pages 704 and 705 show photos of several kinds of ferns.
Mushrooms and Other Fungi-read the overview starting on page 714 and continuing to page 719. Page 719 shows the parts of a mushroom with labels.
I found a video to watch to prepare you for your study of mushrooms. This video is very well done and will help your children understand how a mushroom grows.
Planet Earth: Mushroom Madness
You will need to click over to YouTube.com to view this video. Please note: Turn down the sound if the music is too much for you. As always, please preview the video on YouTube and I do not endorse any other video that may come up after this one. There are some questionable videos about mushrooms.
2. The ideal study of ferns, mushrooms, and fungi would be to experience them outdoors in their natural habitat. Use your 15 to 20 minutes of outdoor time this week to enjoy a search for a fern or some kind of mushroom. Your particular area may not have these subjects readily at hand but let your friends, family, and neighbors know that you are studying ferns and mushrooms and with more pairs of eyes looking you may be able to find something to study up close. Enjoy your time outdoors whether you can find this week’s subject or not. Remember to look at the sky and comment on the weather. Take time to notice your tree from your year long tree study. Collect a few items to take inside to sketch into your nature journal. Just because the topic of this challenge is flowerless plants, you do not have to limit yourself to that narrow focus during your 15 to 20 minutes of outdoor time.
3. Spend a few minutes once inside to discuss your experiences you had on your nature walk. Are there questions that need to be answered or items that need to be identified? Make a note of any topics that come up that you can research further in the Handbook of Nature Study or at your local library.
4. Make an opportunity for a nature journal entry. Start a list of flowerless plants in your nature journal. The diagrams on pages 695 and 719 could be sketched into the nature journal as well.
“Since mushrooms are especially good subjects for watercolor and pencil studies, it would add much to the interest of the work if each pupil, or the school as a whole, should make a portfolio of sketches of all the species found. With each drawing there should be made on a supplementary sheet a spore print of the species.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 718
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