It’s a brand new month, and one that’s brimming with opportunities for science and nature activities. Here’s five fabulous ways to take advantage of the season this month.
Take part in the Handbook of Nature Study’s Signs of Autumn Art/Nature Journal Study. Look for signs of autumn like dry grass or weeds, birds overhead or at feeders, berries and nuts, goldenrod, morning dew and so on, and then log them in a nature journal page.
Do some pumpkin seed lesson plans. Have some fun cooking seasoned pumpkin seeds, using them to graph, making painted collage pictures with them or more.
Make shrunken apple heads. You can find instructions here. Discuss science concepts such as why the apples shrink and what the lemon juice does.
Be an apple investigator. Many owners of apple trees here in Minnesota have reported that their apples were especially buggy, misshapen or just plain missing this year. Some people are reporting almost no apples on their trees at all. Discuss this with your children and ask them for their hypotheses for what might have happened. Have the kids interview a few people you know with apple trees and see what their observations were, and if they had done anything to protect their trees or the fruits. Then visit an apple orchard and ask the owners about this year’s crop for them, plus their explanations for the occurances.
Track a location for Watch the Wild. This Citizen Scientist project asks participants to monitor observations like wildlife, extreme weather, water changes, the absence of animals usually seen, wildflowers and animal tracks in one particular location (such as your back yard, a frequently visited park, or even a route you take in the car regularly), and then turn in the data. Along the way the kids will learn about latitude and longitude, altitude and lots more, as well as helping scientists.