Saturday, August 30, 2014

Queen Anne's lace (nature study)

I read this great post at Petra School about being intentional in nature study.  It was a good reminder for me, and something I had been thinking about this summer as well. I had already been thinking of ways to make our nature studies more intentional, but not completely mama led.  My kids are usually pretty curious outside, so I don't often have too much trouble getting them to love and appreciate nature.  We love the outdoors, so I think that's just the right phrase for us in our nature study:  "more intentional" in learning just a little bit more detail in things around us.  It's amazing what the kids pick up, and remember from the few nature studies that we've done, and I'm looking forward to getting out more this school year.  I love the little stories of things they learn about in nature, and how well they connect everything together. 

Outdoor hour challenge of Queen Anne's Lace.

We headed to one of our favorite close nature parks while in Wilsonville, Graham Oaks Park.  There are a lot of wildflowers there, so I was happy to see that there was definitely some Queen Anne's Lace.


 I asked them why they thought it was called Queen Anne's Lace.  The boys answered very logically "because the queen likes to wear lace!"


 We found the purple floret in the middle, and we talked about how the clusters of flowers make up the larger pattern making it look like one large flower.


If this weren't such an obnoxious weed over here it would be quite beautiful.


April said, "I think this is also called wild carrot!"  It sure is!  These are the clusters of Queen Anne's Lace after the flowers wither, and the fruits begin to form. 


There was a lot we didn't talk about, but it was just enough.  You can't over-do with children in nature.  Let them lead.  They looked long enough for us to discuss the important points of the flower, and when they were done I called it good enough.  


Two stalks of the Queen Anne's lace from the same root in different phases of their growth, so much like the children, all at different stages in their journey!


We had to get going to violin lessons so I had the children work on their notebook pages in the car.  I printed up the one with the challenge at Handbook of Nature study.  Even the 3 year old was pretty excited about drawing his "flower."


Aric's sketch of Queen Anne's lace.  He wanted to draw in his paper bag nature book.  Love it!
Alex's drawings of Queen Anne's lace.  He even made a green stalk!
This is Aaron's (age 8) sketch of Queen Anne's lace.
April (age 13).
I have since cut all of their drawings out of these pages and put them in a nature book.


1 comment:

  1. I've never seen Queen Anne's Lace before. There's so much beauty and detail in each little flower. Enjoyed reading about your discoveries!


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