Thursday, May 25, 2023
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Tips on how to Examine Canadian Nature in Your Homeschool

What involves thoughts once you consider Canadian nature examine? A nature journal? A magnifying glass? Inspecting maple leaves? Maybe elevating butterflies or happening a hike? There are lots of methods to method nature examine in your homeschool. Some concepts even embody know-how, which could be a draw for a lot of children! Listed below are some nice concepts on how one can embody nature examine in your homeschool in a enjoyable and fascinating means.

Image of a Canadian Goose with the text How to Study Canadian Nature in Your Homeschool overlay

Nature Images

Do your children like to make use of a digital camera, even on a cellphone or different gadget? Get them concerned with nature pictures. You may get them concerned in taking photographs to enter nature pictures contests or your native Fall Honest. They will take photographs to make a photograph ebook, add to a nature journal or body their very own nature photographs for his or her bed room, to offer as presents, or to make a calendar! Images make nice playing cards as effectively! There are many websites on-line that educate the fundamentals of pictures and composition. Try our listing of sources to show your children about pictures. One other nice web site to take a look at for extra details about particularly nature pictures for youths is Audobon’s Problem Your Youngsters With These Six Nature-Images Tasks.

For extra technical abilities for older children seeking to be taught DSLR pictures, a fantastic course that we used for one among my older kids is A 12 months with My Digital camera. The e-mail-based lesson possibility is free!

Taking photographs of nature can be a good way that can assist you determine what you’re looking at. In case you are keen on realizing what a plant or tree known as, attempting to get as many various elements photographed can actually assist. Attempt taking photographs of the leaves, stem/trunk, the plant or tree general, perhaps some flowers or fruit, and so on. Your photographs can then be uploaded to iNaturalist Canada the place you may have extra assist with identification!

iNaturalist Canada

Do your children like utilizing know-how? iNaturalist Canada is a good way to get children who’re keen on know-how concerned in finding out and observing nature! They will additionally use their pictures abilities in a productive means! You may get assist with identification and have interaction in some citizen science together with your children. Try this video that explains extra about it!

Nature Identification

Go on a stroll or take a look round your yard and discover 5 vegetation, bushes, bugs, flowers, birds or different animals that you just don’t learn about. Take a photograph in the event you can, with as many elements and angles as you may. Then use an internet useful resource, app, native Fb nature group, good friend or discipline information that can assist you determine what you discovered. Once we know the names of nature objects, we are likely to care extra about nature typically. What an essential lesson to go onto our kids to take care of the earth now we have been given!

One other enjoyable concept is to attempt to be taught as many names as doable for generally seen flowers, bushes, birds and animals which can be present in your space. Maintain a listing and observe the placement and date of your sighting! I take pleasure in having a listing of all of the birds and wildlife I’ve seen in each my native space and in my yard. Its particularly enjoyable to see what number of totally different hen species there are in my yard! When you get a listing going, your children may even classify what they’ve seen. Try our free animal classification printable!

Nice apps for Nature Examine

There are lots of apps on the market for nature examine. Listed below are just a few which have free variations and will be an attention-grabbing means so as to add know-how to your nature examine!


I already talked about iNaturalist Canada. They’ve an app known as Search. It makes use of picture recognition know-how to assist determine what you need to determine. You possibly can even earn badges and take part in month-to-month challenges. They even declare to be child and household protected as a result of they don’t require registration, they preserve your location personal throughout use they usually don’t retailer your exact location.


Stellarium is a neat app that helps you determine what you see within the evening sky the place you reside. That is usually a forgotten a part of nature examine and one that children like to know extra about! It’s particularly neat be taught the place you may see planets within the evening sky!


Merlin is a hen identitication app. It might aid you determine birds by sound or the best way they appear. Test it out and get assist with figuring out birds in your space!

Books for nature identification

Should you favor books, there are many discipline guides on the market! I’d advocate a full discipline information over the child’s variations (generally known as First Guides). Usually we discovered that we would have liked the extra detailed guides marketed for adults to search out what we have been on the lookout for. Subject guides are organized by geographic location so be sure to search for one which covers your space. Many well-liked discipline guides make totally different variations for various areas.

One factor to think about is that everybody who owns discipline guides has their very own private preferences. Some folks favor guides with photographs, and a few folks favor guides with drawings. I like having a wide range of guides out there to me. I personally favor utilizing my Peterson discipline guides for birds, and my Lone Pine plant discipline guides for extra native details about vegetation. However I additionally personal others, particularly for birds which is an enormous curiosity of mine. I generally evaluate the knowledge in my Peterson hen information vs. my Sibley hen information, for instance.

The cover of the book Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Eastern and Central North America
The cover of the book Peterson Field Guide to Birds of Western North America

I even have a Reader’s Digest North American Wildlife information that I actually love as a result of it has all the things together with vegetation! Should you can solely purchase one, that’s the one I’d counsel. Nonetheless, it generally could be a bit extra complicated since you don’t take pleasure in wanting solely at animals or vegetation that happen in your space as you may in additional focused discipline guides.

The cover of the book North American Wildlife by Reader's Digest

You will see extra particular data in the event you purchase a discipline information that pertains to your space. An ideal concept to determine what works for you is to go to your library and take a look at a number of the discipline guides which can be extra native to you earlier than you resolve what you want. Sibley, Peterson, Lone Pine, and Nationwide Audubon Society are my prime suggestions.

Canadian Nature Examine Ebook Ideas

One other good way so as to add Canadian nature examine to your homeschool is to learn books about nature. There are lots of, many nature books on the market! Take a look at your library or try a few of these suggestions about Canadian nature:

-Youngsters Canadian Nature Collection: The Youngsters Canadian Hen Ebook, The Youngsters Canadian Tree Ebook, The Youngsters Canadian Plant Ebook, and The Youngsters Canadian Bug Ebook, all by Pamela Hickman. These are solely out there second hand however are wonderful books for youths!
Canada Wild: Animals Discovered No The place Else on Earth by Maria Birmingham
My First Ebook of Canadian Birds by Andrea Miller
West Coast Wild Infants, West Coast Wild: A Nature Alphabet, and West Coast Wild at Low Tide all by Deborah Hodge
Sustain Katmai by Pili Palm-Leis
Yard Birds by Robert Bateman

Become involved with Citizen Science or Volunteer!

Citizen Science is when members of the general public, such as you and your loved ones, take part in scientific analysis! What a neat approach to examine nature and assist scientists. There are additionally volunteer alternatives throughout Canada that your loved ones may get entangled with. Some examples of Citizen Science initiatives or volunteer alternatives that you would be part of are:

Bumblebee Watch

Bumblebee Watch is a “collaborative effort to trace and preserve North America’s Bumblebees”. To take part, you are taking photographs of bees and add them to the web site.

Journey North

Journey North is a web site that tracks migrations and seasons of many migrating wildlife in addition to modifications in nature. A number of the issues they they observe are hummingbirds, monarch butterflies, barn swallows, frequent loons, ice-out, indicators of spring, and initiatives similar to pollinator patch and tulip check gardens.

Nice Yard Hen Rely

The Nice Yard Hen Rely occurs each February. You possibly can spend as little as quarter-hour watching birds- even from the consolation of your individual house via a window! Establish, depend and submit your sightings to assist with citizen science.

Christmas Hen Rely

The Christmas Hen Rely occurs yearly in December. That is the longest operating citizen science mission, began in 1900! Completely different areas have totally different dates. Verify the web site to see a map of the place there’s a Christmas Hen Rely close to you and learn how to get entangled. The map exhibits many areas proper throughout Canada!

Undertaking Feeder Watch

Undertaking Feeder Watch is a November-April survey of the birds that come to your feeder or different location you’re prepared to look at. The schedule is versatile. While you be part of you get some goodies similar to a double-sided poster of jap and western frequent feeder birds.

Nature Watch

Nature Watch is a Citizen Science mission involving the initiatives of WormWatch, FrogWatch, PlantWatch, MilkweedWatch, IceWatch and SnowTweets. Become involved with a number of of the initiatives and begin watching and recording!

Nature Conservancy Canada Volunteer

Nature Conservancy of Canada holds many occasions throughout Canada the place volunteers are wanted. Verify again if there isn’t something listed close to you as occasions are added at totally different instances.

Parks Canada Volunteer

Parks Canada takes volunteers. Some are for adults solely however there are some listed that might work for households or teenagers! Verify their web site for extra particulars.


Birdwatching, or birding as additionally it is identified, is such an accessible approach to examine animals. Many animals aren’t seen frequently, however each time you go exterior you’re virtually assured to see or hear a hen, or a minimum of proof that one has been round! You may get concerned with eBird to take a look at what species others are discovering in your space or to create your individual listing on-line! If you need some free downloadable classes about birds, take a look on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Feathered Associates curriculum. Or for extra sources and concepts, try our put up about birdwatching to get some extra recommendations on learn how to embody birdwatching in your homeschool. Birdfeeders and hummingbird feeders are additionally a good way to birdwatch- and from the consolation of your individual house!

A photo of a tree swallow on a post.


We love feeding the birds! One of the best ways to take action is by retaining it simple- black oil sunflower seeds and a wide range of feeders similar to platform and tube-style. Its essential to have a tree or bushes close by for birds to really feel protected. Don’t purchase the blended seed with different seed sorts in it- birds usually go away the opposite filler elements behind and simply select the black oil sunflower seeds! It would take just a few days or perhaps a week or two for birds to search out your feeders.

If you wish to make some selfmade birdfeeders, try these concepts from The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Additionally they have some concepts on learn how to preserve a birdfeeder.

You will need to be aware of what your space permits for birdfeeders. In our space it’s frowned upon to feed birds except its winter since you may appeal to bears. Should you don’t reside in an space with bears or different wildlife issues, you may in all probability take pleasure in feeding the birds year-round!

I take pleasure in planting flowers that appeal to birds to my backyard in the summertime. Echinacea, black-eyed susans, scarlet runner beans (a sort of pole bean), sunflowers and bee balm have given me probably the most success with attracting birds. Birdbaths can be one other approach to appeal to birds to your yard.

Hummingbird Feeders

One other kind of feeder is the hummingbird feeder. In most elements of Canada, yow will discover solely the ruby-throated hummingbird. Establishing a hummingbird feeder is simple- you should purchase them at shops similar to {hardware} shops. The keys are to maintain it clear, solely use white sugar (no specialty sugars or honey or something aside from easy white sugar) and NEVER use pink meals colouring. It’s harmful to hummingbird’s well being to make use of pink meals colouring. Additionally, don’t purchase the ready-made meals on the retailer as it’s usually not good for the birds. Conserving the feeders clear can be crucial for the hen’s well being. Its not tough as soon as you realize how- try this hyperlink from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology for how-to and extra data similar to learn how to appeal to hummingbirds.

If this sounds too sophisticated for you, now we have discovered that scarlet runner beans and pink bee balm additionally appeal to hummingbirds to our backyard! Scarlet runner beans are a sort of pole bean that may simply be sown on the backside of a spot to climb, even so simple as just a few lengthy sticks made right into a teepee form. You will have to begin rising them within the spring when the backyard is heat sufficient to plant and they’re going to die with the primary arduous frost. Crimson bee balm is a perennial, which suggests it is going to come up yearly. Yow will discover it by asking round if anybody who gardens is able to cut up theirs and provide you with a chunk, or at an area backyard heart. We have now discovered pink to be one of the best color to draw hummingbirds.

Nature Journals

Nature journals are one other approach to do nature examine. It’s a good way to check nature for these children who’re into artwork or writing, but it surely doesn’t have to simply contain drawing or writing- you would paint, write, press samples from nature, do bark or leaf rubbings, or add images! Some concepts for writing are lists of stuff you’ve seen, poetry or a paragraph about what you probably did that day in nature. Should you’re caught on what a nature journal may appear to be, try Tips on how to Train Nature Journaling or My Nature Journal. Some children actually don’t like nature journals. If this isn’t your child’s type don’t push it- interact them with one other methodology of nature examine as a substitute!

Nature Tasks

We have now loved some enjoyable nature initiatives through the years! Tasks are at all times a good way to be taught.

Amaryillis Bulbs Indoors

Round November via to February every year, yow will discover amaryillis bulbs on the market in field kits at many grocery retailer produce sections. They’re often round $7-10 per equipment that comes with all the things you want besides water! Usually instances they even have gross sales or later in winter, clearance the place I’ve gotten bulbs for as little as $2. We purchase just a few of those bulbs every year and watch them develop. Its enjoyable to have some added color within the winter however there’s additionally heaps to be taught watching an amaryillis develop! One factor that you are able to do is measure the peak change every day. You may purchase two bulbs and put them in numerous areas and see which one blooms first and discuss some the explanation why. My children have had a variety of enjoyable hand-pollinating their flower with a Q-tip after which watching the seeds develop. Should you wait lengthy sufficient, the seed pod will dry out and produce seeds. You possibly can plant these, though it takes a number of years to get a bulb. The method of pollination is a vital matter for youths to learn about, and you may’t get way more hands-on than doing it your self!

A photo of a red amaryllis flower.

Owl Pellet Dissection

Owl Pellet Dissection is one other superior nature mission. It’s an especially neat approach to get arms on whereas studying about owls! There are lots of locations on-line that promote owl pellets for dissection. I extremely advocate this exercise! The children discover it fascinating!

Flower Dissection

If its low season for flowers exterior, you can even do that with bought flowers (the most cost effective might be from a less expensive grocery retailer). Some flowers have extra easily-identifiable elements than others, so its good to get one which has seen stamen and anthers, like a lily type flower. Then you may fastidiously take the flower aside, lay the elements down onto paper after which label all of the elements!

Listening to the Frogs

It is a enjoyable mission to do within the spring. The place you reside impacts when the frogs begin calling within the spring. There are additionally differing types that decision at totally different instances. The place I reside, you may’t miss it- simply step exterior on an evening in Could and you’ll hear the spring peepers calling! However in the event you reside farther away from a wetland space you will want to take a particular journey. Frogs begin calling quickly after the spring thaw has begun! Discover a wetland space close to you and be very nonetheless and quiet. Should you’re not nonetheless or quiet, the frogs will cease calling. Usually instances we are able to hear them however we don’t see them! An ideal lesson in camouflage!

Frog Watch

There’s a very neat program on-line known as Frog Watch. It’s a Canadian program. You possibly can go to their web site and be taught extra about frogs, the categories you’ll find in your space (search by province or territory), get some downloadable curriculum about frogs, and submit your individual observations! While you click on in your province or territory, all of the frogs you may discover are listed. Should you click on on every species on the “be taught extra” button, you may take heed to what they sound like and be taught their calls! This may aid you determine which frogs you’re listening to! Attempt going again to the identical wetland in every week or two and see in the event you can hear a special sort of frog calling.

A photo of a frog in a child's hand.


Quickly after the frogs begin calling they are going to be mating and laying eggs! See if yow will discover some frog or toad eggs close to you. Toad eggs appear to be a string, and frog eggs are in a glob. The place I reside, there’s an unpaved street with deep ditches that fill with water within the spring. There are at all times tons of and tons of of tadpoles there! Many amphibians lay their eggs in “vernal swimming pools” that are areas of water which can be solely there in the course of the spring soften and disappear because the climate warms up. They’re nice spots to search for eggs! You need to search for areas of standing water, not flowing. Upon getting discovered some eggs or tadpoles, go to once more in every week or two and see what occurs subsequent! Go to commonly with a web and bucket to catch the tadpoles and observe earlier than releasing once more! Be aware of the modifications that you just see. Some frog species undergo metamorphosis pretty shortly, and others can take as much as 2 years!

Ant Farm

An ant farm is one other actually neat mission for youths. You should buy the ant farm or make your individual. We obtained one second hand and picked up ants in our yard. Later, we returned them to the identical spot. It was actually neat to look at them construct tunnels and get meals! Don’t fear, we didn’t find yourself with any ants escaping.

Pond Examine

One in every of my favorite nature actions to do within the spring is pond examine. All you want are some buckets and nets. When you have some clear containers these are even higher as a result of then you may see from the edges of the containers as effectively. Go to a pond or shallow lake with rubber boots someday in Could or early June. See what creatures yow will discover within the water! You possibly can put together your children forward of time with some concept of what they could see utilizing sources on-line similar to this helpful chart displaying some pond creatures. An ideal detailed ebook concept is A Golden Information: Pond Life, Revised and Up to date. I extremely advocate this one! Or try Be a Pond Detective by Peggy Kochanoff.

A photo of a pond with grasses, old logs and a family of ducks.

I hope you now have plenty of concepts about learn how to make Canadian nature examine enjoyable, partaking, attention-grabbing and an gratifying a part of your homeschool!



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