My boys have always been naturally curious about things in the environment. Since we live in the country, we spend a good part of our time outside and in the middle of nature. I learned when they were young that it was a cheap form of entertainment. It has also spurred on some interesting questions! I can’t count how many times my boys have seen something outside that required further research (I still encourage them to use encyclopedias, I’m old school that way).
One of my oldest boy’s favorite memories from kindergarten was the day that his teacher decided to take the class outside after a heavy rain. Even though it was too wet to have recess on the playground, she turned their recess time into a learning experience. She gathered yarn (about 1 yard in length each) for each kid and some sandwich meat from the lunch room. She tied a small piece of the sandwich meat to the end of the strings for each kid. They then proceeded to go outside and into the ditch to teach them all how to fish for crawfish (crawdads)! I can only imagine the questions that it inspired of her kiddos. What do they eat? Where are they when it’s dry? Are they always in the ground? She even called ahead to some of the parents and let the kids take them home with them!
Ever since that day, my son has LOVED to go crawfishing! As a matter of fact, all of my boys do. It just goes to show you how much of an impact your small lessons can have on your students.
We spent the afternoon crawfishing today. Is it my favorite thing to do? No. Do my kids love it? – Yes. Did we have some great conversations about animals and nature along the way? Absolutely!
My youngest was not too interested in the fishing. He was more fascinated with the tracks in the mud made from worms and other critters. He also conducted a mini “Sink or Float” lesson off a small bridge down our road while his brothers were fishing.
Below I have attached my Animal Habitats FREEBIE research form. It can be used for students of all ages to complete their own research on whatever animal they are curious about – enjoy!