January 5, 2012

Nature Study and Field Trip: Signs of Wildlife



Today we attended an outdoor education class held on county conservation lands. Our county offers these field trips to homeschoolers, public and private schools. Today's class was "Signs of Wildlife"

Alexis couldn't attend due to illness, so only Lorelai and I attended.  It's too bad she couldn't attend. It was fun and very informative. We saw the tracks of deer, racoons, possum, wild hog, coyotes and I can't even recall everything else. Here is our day in photos.


We snapped photos while waiting on the others to arrive. 
The lovely Lorelai
Lorelai and Mommy


These next few photos were taken by Lorelai while waiting...
 





Everyone's here...time to learn!!!
Pulling out the supplies

Cups of plaster

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Time to look for animal tracks! 

Raccoon tracks

Deer tracks

Hog tracks

Lorelai circled this otter track

She mixed her plaster.



And of course the batteries in the camera died at this point!!! But she poured the plaster onto her otter track and left it to set. Then we moved on to my track... a hog track...


Pouring plaster onto hog track


At this point, we went on a mini-hike while waiting for everyone's casts to harden.







When we returned to check on the casts, Lorelai's otter cast wasn't doing well. Perhaps too much water but her cast wanted to break apart at the slightest touch. So we left it to harden and the instructor will deliver at the next outdoor class. But we did get my hog track cast.


Back home with the hog track cast



All in all, this was a wonderful class. I'm sorry we missed the classes for September-November. Life just wouldn't accomodate us. But I found this so much fun and so educational that we will not be missing anymore if I can help it!

If you'd like to conduct your own animal signs studies, get this wonderful Animal Signs Nature Unit Study book 


Have you ever had an animal track study in your homeschool? Do you plan to in the future? 

Happy Homeschooling!

18 comments:

  1. Great blog and fantastic field trip.  Would love if you considered linking this up to the Field trip hop for home schoolers at http://lifesadventures-amb-fieldtriphop.blogspot.com/

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  2. Nice tracks. We haven't found any, especially ones that nice.

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  3. So glad I found you from the field trip blog hop! This looked like so much fun! I wish there was something similar out here in Utah (maybe there is and I just have to find it...) Thanks for the share!

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  4. We've never done this but it sure looks fun and interesting.

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  5. Michelle
    You are such a wonder woman!  A good educator, a good mother, and a really good friend to remember me.  Thank you, you are special!  Sherry

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  6. Sherry,
    Thanks so much for these compliments. I love and miss you very much! I miss being your neighbor.

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  7. This is awesome! I love the *wild* setting -- nature at its best with no plastic jungle gyms, etc. I didn't know you could make plaster tracks. I hope to do this some day. 

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  8. My outlook exactly! I am NOT a fan of playgrounds and their man-made climbing equipment. Give my kids some oak trees or a forest and they'll find enough exercise and climbing to be done.

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  9. Back in college and for a year after, I worked as a naturalist giving tours to kids at our county nature center and conservation area. Making casts was on of my favorite activities. Not sure why I haven't done it with my own kids! Thanks for reminding me!. We, also, had bandanas with animal tracks and scat drawings. They were great for keeping in your pocket or pack and breaking them out when needed. My kids loved them too. Lost mine last year and need to replace them.

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  10. BTW....have you checked out The Homeschool Scientist facebook page? www.facebook.com/thehomeschoolscientist
    I would love for you to be a fan and add this post to the wall!

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  11. As a matter of fact, the very day it was announced to me by HSvillage in a direct-tweet, I posted it to my FB page :-)

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  12. Glad I could remind you of something fun!!!

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  13. Yes it was! Everyone should be so fortunate as to have these classes!

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  14. Wow! My girls love the idea of making plaster tracks:)  We'll have to do that next time we go on a nature walk.

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  15. Be sure to share the experience with us!

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Thank you for joining the conversation!