Thursday, August 7, 2008

Acorns and Oak Trees- A Nature Study

R8 and I did some fun nature study while on the shores of Lake Ontario this past weekend. When we go camping I generally bring along everyone's nature journals and our nature books so we can reference them if we want or draw something we see.

R8 had a grand time running around the playground picking up acorns. At home we just do not have oak trees close enough to us. So, we decided to find out more about acorns and the oak trees that make them.

These tall oaks surround the playground, which is up on a hill overlooking the lake, and make it cool and breezy. In our study, we had to take in the full view of the tree and make some descriptions.

Bark- we learned that oak trees have an average life span of 200-300 years. So the trunk of those oak trees must be huge!

Our source- The Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock (the first woman faculty member at Cornell)

R8's journal- the jury is still out on these trees being red oaks. The leaves aren't quite right but the acorns are and did you know that oak trees can cross pollinate? So, that might make identification a bit tough.

My journal- yup I have my own now. Seems like I need to model what I want the kids to do. Mine is a sketch pad- kinda on the large side but I want to be able to use the nature worksheets we have. When the kids' journals get full, I'll switch them over too.

R8 and I will continue our work on oak trees this week. We want to do the study found in the Handbook. Her favorite fact is that it takes oak trees 20 years to make its first acorns and the trees don't mature until they are 100 years old. Fascinating!!

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Heather, that's interesting! You've got a great journal going. Your children do, too. We used to love journaling when the boys here were younger. :)

Lynn