There is something timeless about studying the night sky. I know when our family would gaze up at the stars and the familiar constellations, we would feel connected to all those throughout human history that had looked up at essentially the same things: stars, planets, moon. It can be an awesome experience.
“After the polar constellations are learned, we are then ready for further study in the still earlier evenings of winter, when the clear atmosphere makes the stars seem more alive, more sparkling, and more beautiful than at any other period of the year.” Handbook of Nature Study, page 823
In my opinion, the winter night sky tends to be more dazzling. Bundling up and getting outside in the evening takes effort but the rewards are huge. Use the information in the Handbook of Nature Study linked below in the winter sky study for a helping hand at getting started with the basics of a winter sky study.
It’s time to mark your calendars for your summer nature study observations! Whether you are starting a fresh year-long nature study project or continuing with one from this spring, here is a list of ideas here on the Handbook of Nature Study to inspire you. Later this summer I will be sharing a brand new year-long nature study featuring willows so look for that in an upcoming week.
Summer Seasonal Observations
I know summer is a time for casual nature study but pick something to look for and then revisit that topic every season for a year and you will be surprised what you learn. This kind of nature study is valuable because it helps us slow down and note the changes that occur from season to season. It will also help you learn how to anticipate the turn of the season as you recognize the changes in the natural world around you.
Pick one and get started by clicking the link to the archived entry that will give you lots of ideas for completing your own year-long nature study.
It is that time of year again! Time to plan a few seasonal observations….and get outdoors with your family! I make it easy with the printable notebook pages that go along with these year long nature study ideas. Pick one and get started or take a few minutes to make the summer observations happen before we run out of summer.
Make sure to add your year-long study to your January or February nature study plans so you don’t forget!!!
If you are a member of the Ultimate or Journey levels here on the Handbook of Nature Study, you will find this ebook listed in your library after you log into your account. The ebook version available to members includes all of the notebook pages, coloring pages, and color images. I highly recommend purchasing a membership for all the added benefits for each and every challenge.
You may wish to start a new year-long study this autumn using some of the ideas above. If you have a continuing year-long nature study project, don’t forget to put it on your calendar or you may forget to make your autumn observations. If you are using the new planning page from the newsletter, there is a box on each page to note the seasonal observations you wish to make during the month…we all need reminders!
You may wish to start a new year-long study this spring using some of the ideas above. If you have a continuing year-long nature study project, don’t forget to put it on your calendar or you may forget to make your autumn observations.
You may wish to start a new year-long study this spring using some of the ideas above. If you have a continuing year-long nature study project, don’t forget to put it on your calendar or you may forget to make your spring observations.
Outdoor Hour Challenge:
This week try to spend even just a few minutes outside looking at the stars. Make it an event your child will remember by bundling up beforehand if necessary and then finishing off the evening with something warm to drink.
Use this challenge from the past to get started: Winter Sky Study. This blog entry includes some winter night sky links you may find helpful.
NOTE: Make sure to note that you don’t need the Discover Nature in Winter book to get outside and just take a look at the stars and/or moon this month. You also do not need a telescope to complete this challenge. Use your naked eyes or a pair of binoculars if you have those at home.
You may also be interested in the Year Long Big Dipper Study. This challenge includes a free printable notebook page to record your observations.
After you Outdoor Hour time, spend a few minutes with your child and discuss what you observed outdoors in winter, perhaps even after your night sky observations. Have them come up with a question they would like answered about anything winter related and record their question on the notebook page above. Use the Handbook of Nature Study or other resources to answer their question within a week’s time. This process can be done every time your child has a question as they learn more about their own backyard and beyond.
Getting Started Suggestion:
If you already own the Getting Started ebook, complete Outdoor Hour Challenge #2.Use this challenge to help your child find some words to go along with your winter sky study. The notebooking page that goes with this challenge has a place for words and a small sketch. I have found that as you do this challenge over and over, your child will build a large vocabulary of adjectives and an increased ability to see things in nature.
Outdoor Hour Challenges for families since 2008!
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