Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Salamander Room ... and a field trip or two

I'm thinking that this is my last retropost for September.  Then I can focus on the month at hand - for a fwew days anyway.  lol

We have had an extended study of this fun FIAR title (The Salamander Room).  I love the story and it's been a big hit with all of my children.  We've learned about various aspects of nature and had some fun field trips that tied in beautifully with our lessons. 

We visited the Stevens Nature Center and went on a hike to learn about mammals.  The younger children first played a game.  Each child was given a picture of an animal tied onto a necklace.  The photo hung behind them and they were to ask questions to figure out what type of animal was on their card.  We then went on a lovely hike and stopped all through the hike to learn about each of the animals on their cards.  It was interesting and informative.  The only live animals we saw were not mammals - we saw a skink and a frog.

Love this picture of my girls!

I enjoyed finding a couple of neat books in the gift shop to add to our library.  Some that we read to go along with this study include A Skink's Tale, Are You a Butterfly? and Are You a Grasshopper?  All have great illustrations and were helpful in learning more about those particular animals. 

For a fun activity, the children made clay salamanders and painted them.  (Thanks Candace for the great idea!)  I enjoy watching them create and to see their strengths, talents and interests displayed in this way.

We had a second field trip with our Five in a Row group to the North Carolina Botanical Gardens.  As I'm typing this, I'm remembering that this one happened the first week in October!  (Makes me feel a little more caught up.) 

The children were split into 4 groups by age and led on a tour of plants of our state.  They specifically learned about the "Pitcher Plant" (carnivorous plant) and were able to dissect a leaf (to see what the plant had eaten!).  I don't have many pictures of this as I wasn't with these groups.  I'm thankful that others were though so I'll get some later.

The youngest children went on a scavenger hunt/tour through the herb garden with the moms and the older teens. 

It was a beautiful day and everyone had a great time.  We went to a nearby park afterward to picnic and to play. 

I'm thankful for this wonderful group of families with which to go on field trips!