Friday, June 20, 2014

Nature Walk Scavenger Hunt and Sketches

Are you heading outdoors with a bunch of kiddos to look around? How about a Nature Scavenger Hunt? A couple of years ago, I worked for the Nature Center in town, Peabody Mill Environmental Center, and they sent me off to a Kindergarten to do a class visit. I thought an outdoor exploration of the playground, discussion about plants and their parts, and a sensory nature walk/scavenger hunt would be great! I met with multiple classes that day and we had a blast!

This is a great project and can be adapted for an outing with a bunch of scouts,
a camp experience, an art classroom, general classroom, homeschooling field trip, etc.

Prepping For The Lesson:
This is a nice lesson that requires very little prep--although you may want to buzz around the playground before the kiddos join you, so you have an idea of what is out there that you might want to point out to them.

Also, you'll need to print out the scavenger hunt form--I used one from The Bird Feed NYC--they have a bunch of them there (and some other neat stuff too!). We would all be using the same form and filling it out as a class (each class got their own). I glued the scavenger hunt form to a large piece of construction paper, so I would have room to draw my diagram of a flower and its parts. I also wrote some good scientific words on the poster such as: look, listen, touch, smell, observe, identify, dissect, and collect (apparently I misspelled dissect the first time around!).

I also brought a bunch of star stickers, a sharpie for me, some pencils and sticky notes, too.

Starting Off:
I met the classes in the art room and told them that we'd be heading outside to do some exploring. We talked about using out senses to experience the world around them. However, we would not be using our sense of taste! No licking the trees! I then went over the rules for outside behavior and how we'd be working together to complete the scavenger hunt form.

Moving Outside:
We went out and sat down. We experienced the playground by using our senses and we discussed what we heard, saw, felt, and smelled. We checked off as many things from the scavenger hunt form that we could while sitting there--it was quite a bit!

Then I let the children move around and I pointed out a few things that I thought would interest them, such as a little mushroom I found, etc. We stopped and looked at a dandelion and we discussed the parts of a flower and I drew them on the poster and labeled the parts. They loved this part and they really enjoyed dissecting the dandelions and seeing up close the parts of the flower!

Wrapping It Up:
We took a couple of minutes to see if we could find anything else on the list, then I brought them over to the picnic tables and gave them each a pencil and a sticky note and invited them to draw a picture of something they saw, heard, touched, or smelled today on the walk. I them glued their sketches all around the edges of the poster and gave the finished piece to their teacher to display in the classroom.

In the future, I could make the poster a bit better, I think, but I really liked how this easy lesson came together and I loved the sketches the children drew--it was great to see what they took from their time outside.


1 comment:

  1. I think this idea is excellent. I bring things for the children to do their observational drawings of. This way they are do the collection


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