Sunday, March 9, 2008

Green Hour Challenge week 4

After checking out Barb's site for this week's Green Hour Challenge, I was feeling a little intimidated. Here is what she has listed for step two:

2. I am going to suggest that you pick a focus area for your n
ature study. Taking into account what you have close at hand, what season it is, and your child’s interest, look through the table of contents in the Handbook of Nature Study and pick one section that you will focus on for the next six to eight weeks. It might be a good time to study garden flowers (bulbs), wildflowers, birds, or trees if it is already warm in your area. If you still have lots of snow, you could focus on mammals, birds, or water forms. (For suggested nature study rotations using the Handbook of Nature Study, see the Ambleside Online’s nature study page for ideas. If you have chosen a focus area, turn to the introductory page for that section and take the time to read just that page in the Handbook of Nature Study.

My first thought was, "Don't drop me!
I'm not ready!" How in the world was I suppose to go about picking a topic and then spending the next six to eight weeks on it? What kind of resources was I going to use? What happened to just being outside looking at things?

Then I remembered a conversation I had this morning with the boys.

"Mom, look at that nest up in the "R" (we were at Toys R Us)" Thane pointed out. "I think they might be sparrows. I like sparrows. Oh, and cardinals."

I answered, "Cardinals are my favorite too. I also like to watch the fi
nches and the Carolina Chickadees that come to our feeder."

"Mom," Magnus was piping in, "I think those are Mountain Chickadees. I looked in our book."

"Well, we'll just have to check that out further." I said.

...I just checked and I think w
e were both wrong. Looks like it is actually a Black Capped Chickadee.

Anyhow, that is the topic we are going
to concentrate on...Birds. I LOVE birds and the boys appreciate them as well. I enjoy watching them and listening to them. Hopefully by the end of the study, I'll be able to identify more of them.
Here are some of the books I already own that I plan on using to "beef" up our study...

My parents gave me this book for my birthday. I love it! The boys and I have already spent hours reading through it and listening to the different bird songs. I highly recommend this book if you plan to do a study on birds. (I can't figure out how to get the picture to link to the information but you can click here and it will take you to the Amazon link.)

This is a great beginner's guide to identifying birds. I like the way it is set up. You look up the bird by it's main color. Then it has it's description, habitat, nesting habits, a map of the states it is found in, and tips on how to attract them. Click
here to get to the Amazon link.

Love, love, love Thornton Burgess Books! He has such a gentle way of weaving in factual information into a fictional story. I plan on using this to study about specific birds. You can read the book in it's entirety here. Just scroll down beyond the picture and you can click on the individual chapters.

Christian Liberty Press Nature Readers are great for the kids to read on their own. This particular volume has stories on owls, robins, and hummingbirds. Here is the link at Amazon.

As far as activities go, this will give me a great excuse to set up the bird habitat I have been wanting. We already have a feeder, that a resident squirrel also enjoys, and a couple other feeders the boys made. At the request of my oldest, I am going to buy a hummingbird feeder. I hope to make some sort of bird bath and some bird houses. We may even buy different bird seed, right now we just use sunflower seed-which our resident skunk also enjoys, to see about attracting different kids of birds. We will also draw and record the different birds we see and what we learn about them. I'm going to do some looking into
this book that has been sitting on my shelf crying, "Read me! Read me!"

Here are some great websites that are full of information...
All About Birds

Bird Watcher's Digest

Bird Songs Actual recordings of birds!
Bird Perch
Links to other bird sites
Project Feeder Watch
Resources and Lesson plans for keeping track of birds that visit your feeder. Be sure to download the Homeschooler's Guide to Feeder Watch. I think it is too late in the year to participate, but the lesson plans are awesome!
Birding for Kids
A Squidoo lens with great information
American Birding Association

Bird Watching

National Environmental Education Week

This post isn't my "official" Green Hour Challenge week 4 post. I just got so excited and wanted to share with you what we are planning to study. I will post later about our actual "challenge" time outdoors.
I hope you will follow along on our journey as we discover the wonderful world of birds. "Tweet, tweet!"


Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Hi Brittney,

Read your comment and came over to check out your post. I was really only trying to get you to *pick* the focus this week so you earned extra credit pulling your resources. (You are all set for the next few weeks since you have pulled your resources.)

Don't get overwhelmed, I really am trying to keep it at baby steps.

I am excited to see what you come up with for birds this week. Keep it simple but if you feel comfortable adding in the literature and the other books, then do so. If it gets to be too much, then ease off and just stick with the assignment.

There are so many fun things on the schedule...I can hardly stand not telling everyone what I have planned out for you in the weeks to come.

Stay tuned.
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Lori Carr said...

We are also planning on doing birds! We have started to read the Burgess Bird book. So, figured we might as well add it to our nature study! I really like the books you posted about. I will have to check them out.

Have fun birdwatching!

Tina said...

Wow! This is amazing. I love your excitement. I too felt/feel the same way... "What pick a focus area!!!" NOOOOOOO! I need guidance. LOL

But I think we will do ok (big quirky smile on my face), with this assignment. Tomorrow I will talk with the kids about what they would like to focus on.

Can't wait to see "Part 2" of GHC #4.


PS: To have your picture link to a site, just highlight the picture and click on the web link icon. Then place the URL and your good to go. :o)

Lori Carr said...

I forgot to tell you in my other comment that if you sign up for newsletter you get a huge set of bird notebooking pages for free. Just thought I would let you know.:)


LisaWA said...

Brittney! I thought of you today and wondered if hubby was home yet! I was at Fred Myers shopping ( of all places to think of you! lol) I saw some wire Eiffel towers and I thought of you and wondered if Collin made it back yet...

I think I will forever think of Brittney now when I see Eiffel towers....

Pickle ball! lol No way? How fun! I haven’t played that since Jr. high! How fun....

Tomorrow I will get my post done.... We have a lot of pictures and I have been procrastinating about loading them in photo bucket. Between Christian and myself we have over 400 pictures to look through, and its just a bit much... Don’t worry... we wont post them all!

Now to this post...

I felt a tad whelmed myself.... but then realized.... Im not supposed to feel that way.... I asked RyLee what she would like to focus on and we chose plants.... we are getting redy to start seedlings and I bought some bulbs today... so we will begin gardening and have that as our focus.... whelming went away.... but then came the... now what?? lol Ok Im whelmed again! *Ü*

I love your topic! We almost went with birds.... but with the bulbs and seeds sitting right next to us... we couldn’t resist!

So here is to the next 6-8 weeks!
Night my friend... Lisa

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say thank you for all of your encouraging words lately, they are so helpful. :)

Makita said...

The Burgess book is available as a free download at LibriVox