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3 Tips for practicing observation skills with impromptu nature study

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3 tips for practicing observation skills with impromptu nature study

Last month we shared three tips to help you avoid the summer science slip. The first of those tips was to observe, observe, observe.

We wanted to give you some practical ideas for ways to incorporate observation into your summer plans. One of the best ways to do this is through  impromptu nature study.

At its core, impromptu nature study is about taking advantage of the opportunities to study science outdoors as they present themselves. It is about opening your eyes to observe the changes in nature you encounter as you go about your day.

Now that we understand what impromptu nature study is, let's dig into the tips...

3 TIPS FOR PRACTICING OBSERVATION WITH IMPROMPTU NATURE STUDY

So, how can you encounter opportunities for observation with impromptu nature study? There are lots of ways, but these three tips should get your juices flowing for ideas.

Tip #1 – Work in the Garden
Having your own garden for growing herbs and vegetables can be rewarding for many reasons, one of these is that it can teach your students about science. You can discuss how plants grow from a seed. You can share about monocots and dicots. You can talk about what soil is made of and how that affects how well it holds water. You can talk about the invertebrates, like worms and beetles, you find in and near the soil.

The possibilities are endless and the best thing about this is that you don’t have to plan out any of these opportunities. Rather, they will present themselves as you work in your garden.

Tip #2 – Go Hiking
Summer is a great time to get outdoors and hike your local trails. Not only will the hike provide needed exercise and family time, but you can learn some science along the way.

On the trail, you can see an insect, like the leaf miner, at work { pictured above}. You can see the work of decomposers on a fallen tree. You can see examples of rock weathering. You can observe a stream ecosystem. There are thousands of nature study subjects for you to explore and learn from while out on a hike.

Tip #3 – Play Outdoors
Playing outside allows your students to get the exercise and sunshine they need, plus it affords an opportunity to study the science that is displayed in your own backyard.

You can spot and collect insects, like moths, butterflies, and lightning bugs. You can talk about how the grass and plants in your yard grow more when there is more rain. You can talk about the purpose of the bark on the trees. You can talk about how bees play an important role in pollination.

As you can see, even your backyard is a science-filled playground! All you need to do is get outside and take advantage of the opportunities.

IN A NUTSHELL

Work in your garden, go for a hike, and play in your own backyard. All of these activities can lead to an impromptu nature study that will help your students practice their observation skills.

The science that you find in books is waiting to be discovered in the world around you. So, head outside this summer and observe it!

This article was written by our author, Paige Hudson. You can also find her mixing up solutions for homeschool science at Elemental Blogging. If you want to receive more articles just like this, plus our monthly discounts, sign up for our newsletter in the box below or click here.

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  • Paige Hudson
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