C&NN Connect

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 Shades of Green (or orange, or brown, or…)

       I like to use this great activity during the Fall to teach the process skills of organizing, discriminating detail and observation. You will need strips of oak tag approximately three inches wide and 18-24 inches long. Old manila file folders work well as a recycled source of oak tag.

        As they sit outside, ask your students how many shades of green (or orange, or brown…) they see.  Students then work in pairs and collect thumbnail samples of differing shades of green they find in the schoolyard.  Usually I ask pairs to bring in 12-15 samples. As each pair returns with samples, give each a cardboard strip that has a piece of masking tape fastened sticky side up along

 the entire length. The pair’s task is to look carefully at the samples collected and arrange them from lightest to darkest on the cardboard strip.

       After the strips are completed, I have them placed on the ground to cr

eate a color gallery for all to see. Another teacher suggested having students invent a “name” for several of the greens on the oak tag and label them to the side.

           This is an activity that is amazingly popular with all grade levels. It also works at any time of year.

Even in Winter you can do “Shades of Grey” with the remnants of last year’s plants.

 

Journey North Tulip Garden Project

      Journey North is an independent organization established with a grant from the Annenberg Foundation.  Although the Journey North site has several possibilities for doing citizen science activities, the Tulip Garden Project is one of my favorites.

     Students plant bulbs in the fall and use a website to enter the date that bulbs were planted. In the spring, students watch for the first emergence of green from the bulbs and report that information.   Finally, when the tulips bloom, another entry is made.

      The results are amazing. Students can watch spring move across North America. The website dramatically shows how the emergence of tulips varies according to geography and climate. What makes this even more appealing is that students are actually taking part in a scientific study that spans North America.   Check out http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tulip/index.html

(or just Google “Journey North tulips”).  

Tags: NTNR

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Replies to This Discussion

Great suggestions, Herb! Your timing made me smile...my daughter described to me after school today how she and a classmate used the paint swaths she and I had picked out at our local hardware store to find colors in nature. Each girl brought the color patches and a pencil with them out to recess and checked off the colors they could locate. My daughter said it was the funnest recess she'd has so far this year! And an adult wasn't with them at all :)

Cheers,

Carmen Field

Homer, AK

This is great we are are doing an after school program in southern Vermont and plan on creating bookmarks next week with watercolor and leaves collect in the outdoors. This will make a great addition to this project. thanks, Jane
      I love the idea of using the paint chips! I sometimes will put a piece of masking tape (sticky side up) along the edge of a strip of paint chips and have students put small examples of the natural caolor matches on the tape next to the color.

Carmen Field said:

Great suggestions, Herb! Your timing made me smile...my daughter described to me after school today how she and a classmate used the paint swaths she and I had picked out at our local hardware store to find colors in nature. Each girl brought the color patches and a pencil with them out to recess and checked off the colors they could locate. My daughter said it was the funnest recess she'd has so far this year! And an adult wasn't with them at all :)

Cheers,

Carmen Field

Homer, AK

How are you doing the watercolor and leaf bookmark? Any chance you could post a picture? Sounds like a wonderful idea!

Jane May Jones said:
This is great we are are doing an after school program in southern Vermont and plan on creating bookmarks next week with watercolor and leaves collect in the outdoors. This will make a great addition to this project. thanks, Jane

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