As I wrote a week or two ago, we are going to be (attempting) to follow the Exploring Nature with Children curriculum (ENWC) across this academic year. I am reasonably good at getting out and about with the children, but I know that setting myself a target of going out to the same place each week will meant that I am more likely to get out on those days when the weather is less than good!
I intend to blog about our weekly activities – I’ll share our nature walk as one blog post and also follow-up with any add-on activities that we have completed that week. If you are following the nature curriculum too it would be lovely if you wanted to leave a comment with how you are getting on. Inevitably some weeks will grab the children’s attention more than others so some weeks there may be a lot of posts – but I’ll share a lot of our things over on Instagram so do pop by and say hello.
So…. Week 1 is all about Seed Dispersal.
I don’t know a great deal about seed dispersal – I’ll be honest. However I had printed off the ENWC curriculum pages and had a read through those on Sunday. On Monday morning over breakfast we had a brief chat about the ways that seeds might travel around. The children were able to identify wind as a way that the seeds disperse and, with some, help could think of some other ways too such as via animals.
We got ready for our walk – packing waterproof clothes and wellies as it was looking a bit wet.
Equipment We Used
Not a great deal was needed this week. We simply made sure we had the following:
- Waterproof coats
- 2 x tupperware tubs to collect seeds in
Our Nature walk
We headed off out and the children were armed with their tubs. We soon found a whole range of seeds – sycamore, acorns, hawthorn berries, blackberries and the such. We gathered them up and talked about how we thought each one might disperse – we tested those that looked like they might stick to our clothes and talked about the trees we could see around us.
We continued our walk to head across the river. The river was flowing really quickly so we stood on the bridge and watched it for a short while, before heading over and taking a look at the trees we could see. We found a lot more acorns here, so we talked about why that may be, and attempted to see if acorns would float in the river, but we couldn’t really get close enough to spot them as they were thrown in!
We also found some more berries of some sort – I have no idea what these are but we took some to take a look at at home. We found lots of thistle seeds (I *think* they’re thistle so I am more than happy to be corrected if they’re not!) and we gently pulled some away to take a look at at home under the microscope.
We then headed back across the river over into the more woodland area and had a stomp around the trees. I tried to get the children to think about why there might not be a lot growing on the ground (shaded by trees so unable to get light to grow) but they were far too busy climbing up the embankments!
We had a wander around the gardens and looked at the apples that were dropping (talking about their seeds) and watched some bees as they buzzed around. We then headed back to the car with two tubs full of seeds to take a closer look at.
Miss E really enjoyed this walk and she gathered up much more than Mr D did.
Activities at home
When we came home we set up our zoomy microscope and had a good look at the seeds we had found. Miss E is much calmer than Mr D and she found this really interesting. Mr D did enjoy this, but was more interested in putting everything under the microscope rather than actually looking at it in any detail. We cut the seed that we had been unable to identify in half and found some smaller seeds inside – they both found this really interesting under the microscope as they appeared furry there – not what we had thought when we saw them with the naked eye.
Mr D and I talked through this set of slides that Twinkl have produced – these are really good and satisfied Mr D’s particular learning style. I have also printed off a sorting exercise and a short worksheet to have to hand for later this week.
Mr D started the copy work page of the poem from the guided journal and I plan to have some time sketching with them. This is something Miss E was really interested in doing a few weeks ago when she found a beech tree seed, so I want to sit with them and draw together.
I have written another post sharing more details about the activities we have undertaken this week. Ths post can be found here.
Books we have used
We have, of course, been busy reading books too. My favourite for this week is the beautiful It Starts with a Seed which is not only a gorgeous book but one that really engages children. We have been looking at Natures Day and I’m keen to get a copy of Autumn for them to look at over the coming weeks too as we observe the changing of the seasons.