Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Nature's Magical Carpet


The Spark:  
It a crisp, cool autumn morning and you dress warmly to head outdoors.  Everywhere you look there are signs that nature is pooling all of it's resources in order to prepare for it's winter sleep.  The wind, rain, trees, leaves, seeds, critters, and the earth are all working together to prepare for this grand event.  Trees shake off their leaves to prevent moisture loss, leaves drop to the ground to protect tree roots and to prepare to be turned into nutrient rich soil for the trees, seeds are dispersed as far away as possible from their parent trees and plants, critters help disperse seeds and eat nuts and fruit to prepare for winter,  water begins the process of leaf decomposition, and more.  Let's take a look...



Follow tiny critters, listen for the rustling wind, look at the trees shaking the leaves and seeds from their branches and then look down at the fantastic magical carpet of autumn leaves.  Take a closer look to see what you can find.


Interested?
Calling all Super, Natural Superheroes to ACTIVATE!  Are you interested in taking a closer look at how nature pools it's resources to help prepare for it's winter slumber?  As we harvest and gather, nature sows and scatters!

Start Your Quest:
Why:  To examine, explore and play and learn about how nature prepares for it's winter slumber.  How does nature use it's resources to prepare for the grand event and why?
What:  To look at the magical carpet of leaves, follow critters such as squirrels, chipmunks and birds to see what they are up to, to find seed that trees and plants are dispersing and to find out why this all occurs during the autumn months.
Where: In a woodland or in a nearby patch of nature.
When: As soon as you can get yourself organized.
Who:  You, your family, and friends.
How:  Find out below.  It's a S.N.CH., or is it!

Take Action:

1.  Play the game LOOK UP, LOOK DOWN:
Your nature quest begins with a brisk walk on a crisp autumn day.

As you walk look up at the tree tops, notice what is being whisked away by the wind.  Notice tumbling leaves and seeds.

Now look down.  Take a walk on a magical carpet of leaves.  What do you see there?  Look at nature's magical carpet of leaves.  Why do think the tree shook them from their branches?  What will happen to them on the ground?  Do you notice seeds on the ground?  Why have they fallen from trees?  Make a collection of different types of seeds to examine how they got there.  

Follow tiny critters to see what they are up to.  How are they preparing for winter?




2.  Look at seed dispersal, collect and examine seeds:
Play a guessing game.  Examine how seeds are formed and how they reached the ground from the tree or plant.  How will they be dispersed throughout the forest, park, meadow, or town?   


How do seeds fly?









3.  Build flying machines:
Design and fly a parachute--  parachute
Compare your design with the milkweed, umbrellas, balloon shape, and so forth.


Make and fly a helicopter--  helicopter
Compare your design to maple keys (also known as whirligigs or helicopters.)

How do these designs compare to paper airplane designs or kites?  How about clouds?  


4.  Read a book:
Read the book, The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle


 Don't Stop Here:
Keep on researching and finding out more about nature's magical carpet of leaves and seeds.  How does nature pool it's resources to prepare itself for it's winter slumber?  

Quest Check:
Follow our blog to find out if your interests match our quests.

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