It's amazing what you notice when you look closely enough. Fibrous roots might have little macro-invertebrates clinging to the dense tangle. A fallen leaf might divulge evidence of a hungry caterpillar. There are more shades of green in a square meter of bushes than exist in your entire wardrobe.
With "Finding Urban Nature" (F.U.N.) our third graders discover the world of our schoolyard habitat. F.U.N. is a partnership with the Seattle Audubon Society. During the 5 weeks of the project, our 3rd graders spend time outside to learn about the living and non-living things in our urban school environment. We started off with a general examination and classification of different elements. In one task, they needed to find 5 different pieces of evidence of a living animal. In another, they collected stones with different textures. Taken all together, it was a fantastic way of learning how to focus on a specific category, slow down, and open our senses.
Other lessons in the F.U.N. project focus on plants and root systems, spiders, and birds.
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We are a Kindergarten to 8th grade public school in Seattle, Washington.