Saturday, October 16, 2010

Outdoor Hour Challenge #5: Seasonal Tree Observations

Last year when I reset our routine, I had left Fridays to work on nature study- or at least to pull together any studies we had done up to that point during the week. So, it's convenient that Barb posts her new study each Friday. Also, I have really enjoyed having it all together to look ahead by buying the bundle. This week we took a look at some autumn leaves. Here in our area of NY, we are just past the peak of foliage viewing and pretty soon it will look like November- especially with all the wind and rain we've had. We've had a really good year with those crisp nights and clear days. Very lovely indeed.

J5's leaf sketches- well one sketch and one rubbing

R10 working on her leaf rubbing

I8 did a really nice job!

We looked at other characteristics of leaves like margin. These criteria are listed in the challenge and were really useful in adding details to our comparison in our handy Venn diagram. We compared a sugar maple leaf to a beech tree leaf.

In addition to the drawings/rubbings on the journal page, we watched a video on drawing leaves that Barb put together and we made our own watercolor pencil sketches. The video was well worth our time, so check it out! This is I8 working on his watercolor leaves.

As promised, a look at E12's sketching this week

These are my leaf sketches.

This is just after I had used the water on them- they are still wet!

J5's watercolor pencil sketches- he insisted on the pumpkins.

R10's watercolor leaves- aren't they nice?

We decided some leaf pressing was in order as well. One of my favorite fall books is Why Do Leaves Change Color by Betsy Maestro- A Let's Read and Find out Science book. Such great leaf drawings in there with labels and some ideas for doing leaf crafts at the end.

I'd like to say that we had a fun time collecting the leaves ahead of time, but we've had such horrible weather recently that I collected them myself- while I was a crazy person taking my two mile morning walk in the rain!

The result were these lovely window decorations. We just put the leaves between wax paper and used a low iron on them. Should I feel badly that I only take out the iron to do crafting? Don't ask Dan this question!!

We compared lots of maples leaves and we had a beech leaf.

This one is above J5's bed...the window is a clear indication of the stink weather we've been having.

Lots of maples...sugar maples

I really like this one...three different maple leaves and a beech. The tree outside is a tulip poplar tree and it gets its leaves very late in the spring (so late you think the tree is dead kind of late) and it hangs on to its leaves long into the fall. But the birds love those trees out front and R10's view here allows her to keep track of the many birds who visit. She LOVES that. Her bed goes right under this window so she has a terrific window seat on her world.

This was a great way to finish out our school week! We got the chance to learn about some new leaf words and to make some fun sketches and watercolors. My kids are really into the watercolor pencils  now. I have to admit they are really fun to use. We've enjoyed doing our nature study each Friday. This time I think the bonus is that we now have a window decoration in all the upstairs windows for the fall season.


Michelle said...

Awesome study! Love your leaf sketches and the watercolor leaves. And all the fall colors. *Ü*

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Great job on this challenge and your leaf journals and sketches/watercolors are wonderfully done. I love the comparing of leaves by using the suncatchers and they are so pretty in the window.

Thank you very much for sharing your leaf/tree study.

Amy said...

Your study looks wonderful. I love the leaves sketch/ watercolor combination. They are beautiful. It is so nice to see your kids taking such care to make their work outstanding.

Phyllis said...

What an outstanding nature study! I love it! Your family did so many things with the leaves and learned so much. The sketches are awesome!

Monica said...

What a nice study! I love the window art idea.