Monday, October 25, 2010

Outdoor Nature Hour...Pine Trees

We began the study on pine trees by comparing some small pine trees growing along the fence line to a larger tree growing in the pasture.  The boys noticed right away the upward reaching limbs on the small trees.  As the trees get really big they don't look quite so symmetrical.

We walked down into the edge of the woods looking for pine cones.  We found a closed pine cone, open pine cone and one that had been torn apart by a squirrel.  The boys enjoyed looking at the cones and I asked them to take a guess as to why pine trees have cones.  Neither one of them knew the right answer, so it was fun explaining to them that pinecones have the seeds of the pine tree growing inside.  We pulled the pinecone apart and found the seeds.  We taped a seed into our nature notebook and drew a picture of a pine tree. 

Here are the boys examining the pine needles to see how many grow in a cluster.  I asked them why they might be called pine needles?

Boo finding the opened pine cone
Here are the boys measuring the diameter of this small pine
nature notebook entry
I also decided to incorporate sketching into this outdoor nature hour.  I cut a small branch from the large pine tree in the pasture.  Bo sketched the branch, while Boo decided to sketch the pine cone he had found.  Miss LouLou colored the picture of the pine tree mommy drew in our nature notebook.

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