Second only to autumn, spring is my most favorite time of year. Everything is new, fresh, and smells so good (yes, even what the farmer is spreading down the road)! Spring is coming early here in the northeast this year. I was out wandering around our yard the other day looking for signs of perennials popping through the warming earth, and trees slowly beginning to bud. I'm not so naive to think we won't have any more cold weather or <gasp> snow! But we have definitely turned the corner.
This is a great time of year to put a fresh spin on your science studies. For younger students, simply getting them outdoors and helping them to become aware of the changes going on around them is some of the best "science" out there. Help them look for tulips breaking through the dirt, buds popping on trees ... teach them to recognize bird calls that have been missing all winter, and talk about the reason for the lengthening daylight. You can certainly have them sketch what they discover in a science "journal", or take pictures to post on the refrigerator or to send to grandma ... but pure discovery is the best way to make them aware of what's going on around them.
For older students, now is the time to begin planning flower and/or vegetable gardens. Have them research planting "zones", raised bed gardening, and seed/plant costs. Let them sketch out their garden "blueprints" and purchase the supplies needed to get starter plants going.
Of course I will always recommend adding literature to your science discoveries! Here are some titles that are especially appropriate for this time of year ...
- The Year at Maple Hill Farm (ok, I'm a bit biased on this one since it's based in upstate NY!)
- Eggs and Chicks
- How Flowers Grow
- Mysteries and Marvels of Nature
- TOPS 38 - Green Thumbs: Radishes
There are many more, I'm sure, but this is a great list to get your students excited about discovering what creation has to offer this spring. Get outside!! Don't let your kids miss the daily changes taking place in your own yard.
Still on the journey ...
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