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Outdoor Hour Challenge – Shooting Star

Outdoor Hour Challenge Shooting Stars @handbookofnaturestudy


Outdoor Hour Challenge

Shooting Star Wildflower Study

From the Wildflower Nature Study Set #1


Inside Preparation:

¨ Look up and read about this beautiful showy flower in preparation for your outdoor time. Make sure to share images of the flower with your children so they know what they are hunting for. Look for shooting stars any time between April and August depending on the variety you have in your local area.

¨ The flowers look like rockets atop a long erect stalk growing from a basal cluster of leaves.

¨ Few-Flowered Shooting Star (Dodecatheon pulchellum) See the range: USDA.

¨ Alpine Shooting Star (Dodecatheon alpinum) See the range: USDA.

¨ Sierra Shooting Star (Dodecatheon jeffreyi) See the range: USDA.

¨ Eastern Shooting Star (Dodecatheon meadia) See the range: USDA.

¨ You may wish to watch most of this video that features shooting stars: Shooting Stars.


Outdoor Hour Time:

Look in sunny grasslands and shady woods.

¨ The shooting star’s unique dart shape and coloring should make it easy to identify. Look for a rosette of leaves at the base, a smooth stem, and then a cluster (or umbel) of flowers at the top.


Follow-Up Activity:

Note: Ebook users can find custom notebook pages to use for the shooting star flower and the primrose family.

  • Create a notebook page for the shooting star and be sure to include a sketch with the flower parts clearly labeled. Record the date and location of your shooting star for future reference.
  • Start a primrose family notebook page. Keep a running list over time of the flowers you observe and/or study in this plant family.
  • Advanced study: Learn how the Shooting star flower is pollinated. Also, sketch the life cycle of the plant in your nature journal.
  • Advanced study: The genus name dodecatheon means “twelve gods”. Research to find out why they chose this genus name.



Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower Set 1 Ebook

How do you get the new Wildflower Nature Study ebook?

Members of the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey levels have access to the new ebook in their library. You need to click the “Members Area” button at the top of the website, sign into your account, and the ebook is there to download and save for your family to use when desired. If you don’t have a membership yet, I am offering a $5 off discount code that will be good towards your Ultimate Naturalist membership.

Discount Code: Wildflower5


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Wildflower Series – Coming Soon to the Outdoor Hour Challenge


Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower Set 1 Ebook

Outdoor Hour Challenge Wildflower Nature Study Set #1

Don’t miss the special promotion code at the bottom of this email!

Exciting News! I am creating NEW wildflower challenges based on flowers that I have become familiar with over the years. These are flowers that are NOT specifically covered in the Handbook of Nature Study written by Anna Botsford Comstock. They will be flowers that many of you know about and have seen in real life and now you can use the brand new OHC lessons to create a meaningful nature study for your children.  In addition to the specific flower, each challenge will help you learn about a different plant family.

This is a huge undertaking and much more time consuming than I originally anticipated, so I am going to create a series of smaller ebooks and release them over the next few years. I am planning on releasing the first set of five wildflowers by the end of March 2017. Then starting in April 2017, this series of fresh wildflower Outdoor Hour Challenges will post every Friday.  The ebook will contain custom designed notebooking pages for each wildflower, including more advanced pages for older students.

Please note the notebooking pages will only be available to ebook users and the ebook will be available for those that have an Ultimate or Journey level membership.


A Little Background

In choosing which flowers to start with in this series, I tried to narrow the list to early blooming plants that many of you will have access to in person. I’ve also included suggested substitutions for flowers that may also be common in your area by listing related flowers in the same plant family. Learning more about the plant families is something I’m going to be stressing in this new series of nature study ideas by referencing the Botany in a Day book and providing internet links for you to use as resources.


Want a sneak peek at the topics?

  • Wild Mustard and Wild Radish (mustard family)
  • Shooting Star (primrose family)
  • Lupine (pea family)
  • Purple Chinese House (figwort family)
  • Yarrow (composite family)


This new ebook will be loaded into the Ultimate Naturalist and Journey level memberships soon!

Ultimate Naturalist Library @handbookofnaturestudy

If you aren’t a member yet, you still have time to join and have immediate access as soon as it publishes.

As a special promo, you can use the discount code WILDFLOWER5 for $5 off the Ultimate Naturalist Membership.

Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Membership

Join us in April for this interesting series of nature study challenges!