Fall Senses Program at Maine Discovery Museum

We had a great time at the Maine Discovery Museum in Bangor, Maine.

There was a short, informative presentation on our five senses and what can be observed through those senses at this time such as fall colors, the smell of decomposition and the feel of the cooler weather on our skin.

There were tables filled with natural materials the participants could feel, smell, touch and hear. A wonderful memory is of a young baby grinning ear to ear as her hands explored a cut pumpkin! There was a table with a memory game set up with our playing cards, coloring pages and rock tower building. Another table had materials such as sticks, yarn, clay and acorns for participants to create their very own spider webs, spiders and acorn creations!

A great way to spend a Saturday. Thanks to all who came to spend some time with us!

November Newsletter: Squirrels

Learn how to use squirrels to Teach math, geography and American history in this months newsletter!

Did you know there are actually 5 types of squirrels living in North America? 

American red squirrel: these squirrels hang out in coniferous trees in Canada, Alaska, British Columbia, and the Rocky Mountains.
Fox Squirrel: these squirrels hang out in trees such as oak, walnut, hickory, and pine in Canada, the Dakotas, Texas, and Colorado.
Black Squirrel: these squirrels have an unusual black coat that is well adapted to colder climates. They share habitats well with gray squirrels but tend to be aggressive to other types of squirrels.
Eastern Gray Squirrel: these squirrels can be found east of the Mississippi River. They are well known for hoarding nuts and seeds for the winter.
Western Gray Squirrel: these squirrels are found in western areas of the United States and are the largest native North American squirrel.

Create a squirrel feeder to place outside a window. Observe the squirrels behavior as they gather the bounty you provided for them. How does it differ from chipmunks that may also be collecting from your feeder?  

Read more

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Nature Sounds and the Radio

Our students were learning about nature sounds - specifically birds and insects. We listened to the first radio broadcast that featured nature sounds; Beatrice Harrison played her cello as the nightingales sang along. 

From there we listened to old time radio programs and listened to how they used sound to enhance the programs. The children were tasked to create their own radio program that uses nature sounds in their program. With older children I would have suggested researching the history of radio - thus adding a bit of history to the project. 

To demonstrate modern radio and how it works we visited a local radio program, WHSN 89.3 for a wonderful visit that inspired the children in new ways for their own project! 

September Newsletter

This months inspiration is nature sounds! Check out our newsletter to learn how you can incorporate nature sounds into your learning environment.

Sounds

From the sound of wind ruffling the leaves, to the geese migrating overhead, and the sound of field crickets all around, now is a perfect time to study sound.

cricket.jpg

Fall Field Crickets

Fall field crickets lay their eggs in the cooler months. In the spring they hatch and develop into nymphs. In late summer and early fall the nymphs develop into adults and begin to sing. 

Crickets hear through ear like structures called tympana on their front legs. This can be compared to a human's tympanic membrane - otherwise know as an eardrum. 

Ask students to research composers that have been inspired by insect sounds. Read the Zuni Indian myth about Cicada and Coyote, a fun story on why cicadas shed their skin and coyotes have a jagged smile. Read On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder. This story describes her experience of the Rocky Mountain locust during the 1800's. Study the human ear and compare to other animals.

For more on nature sounds view our complete newsletter at: http://mailchi.mp/b73aba753054/september-newsletter-nature-sounds

 

June Newsletter

This month learn how to use wildflowers to teach geometry and cultural mythology!

Oxeye Daisy with goldenrod spider

Oxeye Daisy with goldenrod spider

Fractals are geometric patterns that recur over and over again at smaller and smaller scale. They are found naturally, such as the way a tree branches, or mathematically using computer animation. If you look closely at the yellow center a the oxeye daisy, you will see a spiral fractal similar to sunflowers.

2541975726_38e39db7ec_o.jpg

For some, dandelions represent
three celestial bodies: 
sun - the yellow flower
moon - the puff ball of seeds
stars - the dispersing seeds.