Living Classroom Lessons You Can Do in Your Own Backyard
While we all hunker down at home and try to figure out how to continue our children's education during the quarantine, opportunities abound in our own backyards. If you do not have a yard or area with potted plants near your home, there are several public nature spaces that can be accessed to do the lessons which follow. Please visit here for this list of public parks that can be accessed safely using social distancing practices during the shelter in place.
1. Go on a Nature Hunt -- Challenge your child to use all five senses on your nature hunt: smell the flowers, see how many colors you can find, touch the dirt, listen for the animals, and taste (if it is safe) edible fruits and vegetables.
2. Get your Hands Dirty -- Dig a hole in the backyard and see what you can find. What living things did you find in the soil? What nonliving things did you find? Talk to your child about what the living things might need in the soil to stay alive.
3. Build a Nest -- Discuss different types of nests that you see that birds build. Collect materials from the yard and build your own nest!
4. Define Habitat -- Find wildlife in your yard and try to define how that animal is living there. All living things need food, water, shelter, and space for their habitat. Where is your animal getting these components of their habitat? Can you find them? Try to find at least three animals and their habitats.
5. Dissect a Flower - Pluck a flower from the yard and see if you can identify the different parts inside. Which parts are used for pollination? How do new seeds form?