“If a child is to keep his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement, and mystery of the world we love in.” Rachel Carson
Did you know that the more senses you can involve when you are learning something the more likely you are to remember it? For instance: you see a recipe for a meal, yet you have never tried to make it. You can read through the list of ingredients, but it will not help you to know what it tastes like or if it was difficult to make until you actually go through the process yourself. I find that it is much more pleasant and interesting if I can experience things firsthand. The same thing happens to your student.
So, why not apply this concept to learning science, especially life science? There is a certain textbook publisher that studies insects in the winter if you follow their course chapter by chapter. Well, that works well in warmer climates, but not here is the heartland of the United States! The only kinds of bugs that I find moving are either at the zoo or those creepy thousand leggers that I never want to see!
Yes, this critter! They are actually called house centipede and only have 15 pairs of legs, but they still startle me every time I see one of them. I digress!
Instead of “sticking to the text”, study insects when they are active and your son has the opportunity to observe them in their natural habitat? You can observe ants by taking a piece of banana outside and watch them cart it away to their home. There will be a scout ant (or two) that you can see scurry off to their anthill to announce to the rest of the workers that a treasure has been found and to come and help take it back for all to enjoy. If you have the time, you can watch the process from start to finish, or come back throughout the day. Your daughter can sketch the ants, the anthill, the banana being devoured. She can research the type of ant it is, what each ant’s job is in the hill, etc. Magic School Bus Gets Ants in Its Pants video that is all about ants. You can either purchase the video or watch it HERE. You can also have your son read the book as a follow up to what you have observed.
Fall foliage is a fabulous way of seeing the process of seasonal change. How about going for a walk and collecting different leaves? You can take a leaf identification book with you or bring them home and press the leaves between two pieces of wax paper and a stack of books. imom.com has a FREE leaf identification game to take with you.
Have a great time enjoying and learning! ~Lisa~