Friday, October 14, 2011

Nature Club ~ One Square Foot

Friday we met up with some fellow Nature Club friends and did a small observation lesson called One Square Foot. Each child created a tool to measure out a square foot and then found a spot in the wooded areas of a park to measure out and observe for 10 minutes. They nature journaled the square foot, moved materials around to see what might be underneath the layers of leaves, moss, pine cones, etc... After about 10 minutes they children found a friend to switch with and share their findings with. We talked about how their square foot included the space above the ground and under the ground - to look for signs of life like little animal holes or trees above them.

Each child also took a white plate with them to bring back finding, shake out branches or plants for smaller signs of life and nature. We collected the findings back at a table and looked some of them up, inspected closer and a few kids even nature journaled these extra findings. 

Holly discovered the various layers of nature in her square. We talked about digging down a bit carefully to look for bugs, eggs or larvae - which she found a small larvae. She also discovered layers of decaying plant life. Seeing this decay triggered a discussion on composting - she drew out a little diagram of how composting works in her mind within nature. This was a fantastic lesson. We have done this before at home in our yard, but I think we need to do this more frequently in different settings. I'd even love to mark off one area and observe it long term to see changes throughout a year. Really, so much could be done with this lesson.

To finish off we read this book at home, One Small Square - Woods by Donald M. Silver. A great book to open a child's mind to observation and the bigger picture!

Fantastic Book - entire series looks great!

Picture we discussed on how a square foot is more than just the 'ground' but up, over, under and inside.

Holly & other kids making their 'square foot' tool to measure out their research area.

Holly's sqaure foot.

Busy recording her findings.

Now carefully digging under the initial leaf and debris cover to look for more.

She discovered composting materials and a larvae.

Some findings the kids discovered and brought back for further observation.

Another GREAT book - we used this for some identification today.

Holly's journal page of her Square Foot, drawn & labeled.

Her diagram on composting in nature. A great discussion.

Starting a Cat's Eye or God's Eye with sticks  and yarn.

Having some fun!

Almost done...

Holly & a friend - all done! They look proud!


  1. I really like the displays and the diagrams. What a wonderful way to display learning.

  2. What a cool study. I love getting kids outdoors before winter hits & it is harder!! I am starting a Linky Party if you want to link up at