Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Autumn Tree Focus #1

(This is Tigger's rendition of the neighbor's apple tree.)

Today I finally got around to starting our tree focus for this year. I had to really think about how I was going to do it. Tigger is all about nature. He loves it and revels in it. Pooh, however, hasn't shown much interest in the nature world. There are things he notices and enjoys (such as the neighbor's chickens. LOL) but when I've tried to interest him in trees in the past, I tend to just get a "Yeah" with whatever I'm declaratively pointing out. I looked over Barb's posts and several other nature bloggers and decided that I was going to use a series of questions to draw them out. (These can still be considered RDI-ish due to the fact that they are viewpoint questions. No wrong answers.) Here is what we started with for today:

Q: What do you know about trees?

Tigger: They're different. They have pine cones and needles. They have branches and the bark breaks easily when you hit it.

Pooh: There are different kinds like apple trees, acorn trees, pine trees and other trees.

Mom: I know that some are tall and some are short. (This then caused them to add as follows:) Tigger: some are smooth and some are rough. Pooh: some are fat and some are thin. (I had to help with some of the opposite words.)

Q: What's your favorite tree?

Pooh: The apple tree because it has fresh apples.

Tigger: The apple tree because you can throw the apples and they break apart.

Mom: The oak tree because I like the acorns and it's one of the best climbing trees. (This sparked a discussion on how they would love to climb an oak tree. Pooh also realized that Oak was the proper name not 'acorn tree'. Although I love the name Acorn Tree myself. ;D)

Q: What's so great about trees?

Pooh: They're cool because they get high.

Tigger: When you cut trees they grow again.

(From Pooh's sketchbook.)

After this discussion we talked about how pine trees are what we have in our yard. We picked off some of the needles and counted how many are 'stuck' together. We did a bark rubbing. We examined a pine cone and tried finding the seeds by smashing it with a hammer. (didn't work by the way LOL) We then used our tree book to figure out what kind of pine trees we have. We think they are Loblolly Pines. The boys then informed me that the neighbor has an apple tree. "Really? Well, you can do a bark rubbing of the apple tree and bring me an apple." So off they went! They came back with the apple which I cut in half sideways to show the way the seeds grow in a star shape. We each then tasted a part of it, avoiding the wormy part. Ewww!

This method seemed to work well for Pooh especially. He enjoyed it and was enthusiastic about it. Even going so far as to climb a bit of one of our pines to get some needles to examine. He also liked trying to figure out which kind of pine it was. He was the one who did the rubbing of the apple tree bark, which meant that he took his sketchbook with him all the way over there.

(Pooh's Apple Bark rubbing.)

Tomorrow, after art, we'll probably head to the park again and do some tree study there as well. Since we are a bit limited as to what's in our yard, I want to expand our studies to other areas. Tigger already enjoys collecting the seeds of trees so we'll probably start categorizing them soon. He's been itching to use my hot glue gun so tree seed study will be a good excuse to get it out. ;D


The Glasers said...

I love the drawings of the trees! I wish I had known about nature notebooks when my kids were your kids' age. You are going to be creating some wonderful memories with them! Lucky you--and them!

live4evermom said...

Wonderful job! We've been having fun doing our tree study. We will make a switch soon though and head on over to cloud study. I have a ton of cloud pictures to share.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Great tree study and great job with the questions to spark interest. I know I am always more anxious to learn something new when I have a little introduction.

The rubbings are a great idea for kids who don't have patience to draw yet.

Great start to your study!
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Berta said...

Excellent work. I am still working on the leaves. I have to get our tree studies done in the next week here before we move from the farm.