Saturday, September 26, 2009

Extraordinary World

Barb over at Handbook of Nature Study put out a challenge to find the Extraordinary in the Ordinary. After reading Barb and Dana's great posts about meeting the challenge, we had to give it a try.

First I asked the kids to go out and find five things in the yard that they see all the time, but would like to learn more about.

They came up with some great subjects. There were a few things that were on everybody's list, so we decided those would be the first things we studied. Here's our list:
  • Mushrooms
  • Ants
  • Morning Glories
  • Butterflies
  • Cats
Things we see, pass by, everyday, but I know with a little research and close observation, we will discover just how extraordinary they are.

We started last week with BUTTERFLIES, which we kicked off with a field trip to a local butterfly garden.

(you may need to click to enlarge the picture (sorry))

It was run by a retired couple out of their home. Butterflies are their passion, and they had a lot of information to pass along about the butterfly life cycle. We learned so much, like that butterflies have taste buds on their feet (which gave my way-too-creative son some interesting (and unfortunate) ideas about how to eat his soup when we got home), that most butterflies only live as butterflies for a few weeks, that it has to be at least 70 degrees for a butterfly to be able to fly, and what our state butterfly is.

They had a nursery with caterpillars and chrysalises. The ones on the right are monarchs.

The next day we went on our own backyard butterfly hunt, drew the butterfly life cycle, and charted what time of day we saw the most butterflies.

It was fun watching the kids notice butterflies with new eyes. We even got to see our state butterfly, which the kids thought was the coolest thing ever.

Definitely an extraordinary creation.

Here are some butterfly links we checked out to supplement our study:
Next week we're going to try to explore mushrooms, since they are EVERYwhere after all this rain we've been getting.

I'm not a big fan of the mushroom, but I'm looking forward to learning some of it's secrets...


  1. What a neat idea! I love Barb's nature studies, and we do the Outdoor Hour challenge so we will probably look into this as well. Great job1

  2. you do such a great job teaching your kids. i love the hands-on learning!!!

  3. Your son is so funny! What a neat place to take the kids. Your state butterfly is absolutely gorgeous, and you got such a beautiful picture of it! I can't wait to follow your mushroom study- they are so intriguing to me.

  4. LOL on the soup and taste buds!!

    And--WOW--you've really inspired me to do better with science!!


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