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A Nature Study through the Seasons A note to HCOS families...

A Nature Study can be as comprehensive as you decide to make it. This short, six week unit will hopefully serve as a springboard to many more hours of exciting learning, observations and time spent outdoors as each season has its unique beauty and areas of study. Why should we encourage our children to do a nature study? What better way to learn about Gods amazing Creation than to observe His handiwork firsthand, and learn how to be good stewards of what He has entrusted us with. We know that The earth is the LORDs and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it...Psalm 24:1. Charlotte Mason and her Nature Study: You may already be aware of Charlotte Mason (18421923) and her educational philosophy. For those of you who are not familiar with her, she was a British educator who invested her life in improving the quality of childrens education. The Charlotte Mason Method, according to is A method of education popular with homeschoolers in which children are taught as whole persons through a wide range of interesting living books, firsthand experiences, and good habits... She encouraged spending time outdoors, interacting with Gods creation firsthand and learning the living ways of nature. Her nature study included time each day outside in direct contact with nature and once a week nature walk, so the children learned to be observant. For Nature Walks, the children would take a nature journal to record, draw and narrate descriptions of what they observed. In this unit, you will explore Nature using some of Charlotte Masons methods-nature walks, a nature journal or notebook, narrations and the use of many living books. A Living book, not a textbook, is one that was written by an author, who having a great passion on a particular topic makes the subject come alive! These nature books can be found in abundance at your local library. For each lesson, choose the exploration activities, poems and art projects that will be meaningful for your family as you inspire them to learn about God and His creation, and help them develop a passion for spending time outdoors which will hopefully continue throughout their lives. I hope you enjoy this journey!

Fall Nature Study:

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~This kit contains materials for a Tree and Bird Study, Information on how animals prepare for, and spend the winter and on how to develop an Animal Research project:

Resources included in this kit:

1. The Kids Canadian Tree Book by Pamela Hickman 2. Take A Tree Walk by Jane Kirkland 3. The Gospel According to a Tree by Terry and Jean McComb 4. Kids Easy-to-Create Wildlife Habitats 5. Birds by Samantha Gray 6. Take A Backyard Bird Walk by Jane Kirkland 7. Peterson Field Guides Backyard Birds by Jonathan Latimer 8. DK Nature Ranger 9. Professor Noggin's Card Game-Birds of North America 10. Parent Guide

This guide and the student pages can be found on the library website at: The online guide has live links that will take you directly to the webpage. Please print the student pages from the website.

Ask your teacher for the passwords to the following website:

Enchanted Learning Website This site has many printable pages you can use:

Poetry/Scripture: Poetry pages for reading enjoyment and memorizing Supplemental Readings Supplemental Readings/Resources ~Within each of these integrated themes, there will be suggested extension activities and ideas from which to choose. These will address the BC Life Science topics for Grades K-4 as well as some Art and Language Arts, depending on how much time your
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child spends doing personal reading and writing activities, journals, oral/written narrations and scripture/ poetry memorization.

Wild Days-Creating Discovery Journals

To create a Nature Centre-Spend time gathering excellent nature books from your local library...trees, various birds and animals books that interest your children and Field Guides if you dont already have them in your home library. Display books in baskets for visibility and easy access then prepare a space for a small table to display nature walk treasures and collections-sticks, leaves, old nests, rocks, pinecones and other seeds etc. You will probably find that your children will be inspired to read these books and enjoy observing their collections independently. Other helpful items for Nature Walks: Nature Journal or Notebook (a spiral bond heavy weight sketch book or binder with plain paper), pencils, water paints, magnifying glasses and binoculars, tweezers, lidded containers to carry home your childrens findings.

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Here is a sample of another Nature Diary that was written in 1906. Edith Holden made journal entries that included the weather for example, Great gale of wind from the south-west, places she visited and what she saw in journal form, being an artist, she included a great deal of artwork labelled with both the English names and scientific/Latin names, and a many poems for each of the seasons.

You decide how you would like to set up your childrens Nature journal/notebook- it can be more of a personal journal or scientific notebook. You may want to keep their work in a Science notebook and nature observations and drawings in their nature journal. It will be wonderful as you make it your own! Enjoy!

The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden

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Tree study (Week 1-2) Introduction Read Genesis 1 In the Beginning, God created the heavens and the earth... This is a wonderful time to spark your childrens interest and help them develop a passion to observe and care for Gods creatures and earth. Week 1 ~Read The Kids Canadian Tree Book and brainstorm all the names of trees your children know so far. Discuss the two kinds of trees (coniferous and deciduous) and write the differences and similarities on a comparison chart or a Venn diagram as seen in the Student Folder. ~Outdoors: If you have a treed backyard, start by identifying all the trees found there. Observe and make a chart of your findings, labelling it Trees in my Yard. Explore further into your neighbourhood, community and countryside. List the trees found there and your favourite ones. ~ Read about our national tree, the Maple Tree and its syrup. http:// ~Plant a tree in your yard and watch it grow. Interesting Tree Activities: Select a couple of activities that interest you and your family. ~Make a Leaf Collection (The Kids Canadian Tree Book) page 9 ~Collect a variety of leaves identify their names then display them by pressing them in a book, or on a chart sorted by shape, deciduous or coniferous leaves etc. Spend time to discuss and observe the different shapes and textures etc. ~In your nature journal, draw the different leaves, and the tree cones remembering to date your entry and name each item that you draw. Older students could research the scientific names and label their drawings with these and the common names. Have the children journal their findings and thoughts in their nature journal. ~Leaf experiment (The Kids Canadian Tree Book) page 11 Why do leaves change colour? Use one of the age appropriate Science frames provided in the Student Folder.
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~Poetry memorization: A few poems have been included in the Student Fold for your reading enjoyment and/ or for memory work. Add your favourites as well. ~Develop a game of concentration or memory Cut cardstock to the size of playing cards. Draw or glue a picture of a leaf or tree on one card and print the name of the tree on another. Shuffle them and have your children play a memory game so they can practice tree or leaf identification in a fun way. ~Tree Watching-Observing and sketching trees through the seasons (TKCTB -page 24 has some ideas)

Week 2 ~Read the Take A Tree Walk book and review the parts of a tree and their functions page 22. ~Discuss the importance of trees in nature and for you at home page 7 and 10. ~How old is that tree? Pg. 12 The book, The Gospel According to a Tree, is an in-depth character study using illustrations from the tree; you may choose this book to read and want your family to complete some of the Practical Projects or some of the ones below. ~Make a Family Tree Pg. 4 ~Tree House Pg. 42 ~Tree Values Pg. 44-Make a list of all the objects in your home that are made from trees ~Tree Music Pg. 46-Practical project ~Tree of Good and Evil Pg. 54 Practical project

More Tree Activities: ~Make a Chart of the Trees enemies and friends ~Being a good steward of Gods trees- Discuss ways your family can help save trees by reducing, reusing and recycling tree products.

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A Nature Walk: Take a trip to your local park, a national park or wooded area to observe more trees and other interesting nature. (Some municipalities have Urban Tree Tours). Try and get outdoors as many days as possible. ~While Observing nature: Casually point out scenery around your children. Charlotte suggests we ask them, who can see the most and tell the most about...plants, trees, insects or anything nearby. A Charlotte Mason Education by Catherine Levison. ~Have them close their eyes and try and remember some of the nature that they have seen-this activity will help them develop their memory and give them an opportunity to narrate some of their discoveries. ~Remember that the emphasis should be observation, so talk about the nature that you and you children observe. Ask questions that help them see God in His creation. Tree Art Projects: ~Nature Journal entries with sketches and observations ~Leaf and bark rubbings ~Leaf prints ~Leaf spatter prints

Leaf Prints

Leaf Rubbings

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Fruit, Berries, Nuts and Seeds... ~If you havent collected seeds yet, try and find a variety of seeds for your Seed collection ~plant a tree seed and as it grows transplant it into your yard. (Horse chestnut seeds grow well). ~complete the Seed dispersal chart in the Student Pages or draw your own in your notebook ~Take time to enjoy picking fruit, berries and nuts that are available in your area.

~Make a cone feeder for the birds ~Dry some fruits snacks-page 21 of The Kids Canadian Tree Book ~Review by reading Fruits of a Tree pg. 26 and Seeds pg. 28 from The Gospel According to a Tree

Art Projects ~Seed Collage ~Cone or seed art

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As two weeks is such a short time for a Tree study, please continue if your children have other activities they are interested in pursuing or books they want to read.

Bird study (Week 3-4) Week 3 By now, you have probably taken a number of nature walks and have observed not only trees, but the animals that inhabit the woods. Bird Watching can be a wonderful pastime! As you keep working on your nature journal and practicing your sketching skills, you will develop an eye for detail. Enjoy! ~Read or look through the reference book, Birds and discuss the many interesting facts about the various birds: ~ Make a chart of the Characteristics of Birds: All birds have... ~Read about the different kinds of Birds- Birds of prey, night hunters, birds of the sea, birds of the shore, freshwater birds, woodland birds, desert and grassland birds, tropical birds and city birds. Give a narration or discuss the differences and similarities.

Bird watching Activities: Remember to choose only a few of the activities that interest you and your family.

~Start by watching those in your yard. Although some birds will migrate south for winter to return next spring, others stay year round. ~Observe the bird features in order to identify the birds-colour, size, shape, not just the body shape but the shape of the beak, wings, tail and legs, and the birds behaviour, habitat as well as how they move. There will be more activities next week in order to practice this skill. ~Keep track of when some birds leave and the date you first see them again next spring

Follow-up Activities: ~Plan to go to your local bird sanctuary, participate in a guided tour if available or scout out other areas that have an abundance of birds. Wherever you go, you can enjoy bird watching and observe their behaviour.
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~Use field guides or books to draw the birds you have seen or one of particular interest to you. ~ Complete the practice worksheet on Bird Beaks and Feet from the Student Folder ~Make a collage of some of your favourite-remember to include different species of birds in their habitats.

~Read more books on a particular bird of interest or use the Bird fact sheet from the Hinterland Whos Who website to find out about the birds that live in these various habitats. To find these sheets, click on Species at the top, then Bird Fact Sheets and choose the birds you would like to research. ~Make a chart showing how they interact in that habitat. Use your Enchanted Learning and username password to view the Food webs and chains that could be developed for Birds of Prey. ~Owls are very interesting birds! List some of the interesting facts about owls. Try and find out about the different kinds of owls and where they live, eat and interact with their environment. You might find them so interesting that they could be a choice for your animal research project.

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Week 4 ~To learn more about the Field marks and identifying birds, read the book, Take a Backyard Bird Walk, from page 12 and then complete the Bird Notes activity on page 18, comparing two different birds. More Bird Activities: ~ Play the Professor Noggin's Card Game-Birds of North America to help you identify the various birds as well as providing you with bird facts. ~Caring for the Birds: If you make bird houses and feeders, you will not only attract more birds to your backyard, but you will also help them through the cold winters when food is more difficult to find as well as provide them with a nest in the spring. ~Kids Easy- to- Create Wildlife Habitats pg. 22-27; 34-46 have some interesting bird feeder ideas and Bird Abodes pg 68-74 ~Find Wood Constructed bird house plans

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Migratory birds- As winter approaches, many birds head south; not all birds leave Canada, but many fly great distances. ~Online information/facts on Canada Geese and their migration. ~ Choose another migratory bird such as the American robin, ducks, loons, puffins, trumpeter swans, Red-winged blackbird and hummingbirds and see where they go in the winter and how far they need to travel. Try and view a migratory route map. The Hinterland Whos Who is an excellent site for showing their range.

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How Animals Prepare for and Spend the Winter/ Research an Animal of your choice (Week 5-6...or longer) You will need to return your kit books shortly, but you could continue to work on the animal research using the library books.

How Animals prepare for and spend the Winter: Depending on your time frame, you could either choose a couple of activities of interest or do the Research writing activity following this section:. ~observe the animals in your yard, possibly squirrels, birds and rabbits to see how they are preparing for winter ~Design a Chart on how they get ready for winter ~How do animals spend the winter? Do they Migrate, Nap and/or Hibernate or Adapt? Complete the activity sheet, Animals in Winter, in the Student Folder. ~Use your subscription password and username to access information from the Enchanted Learning site. ~Read and discuss how various animals spend the winter then design a poster showing the different types of homes and methods of winter survival. Complete the chart using this link: ~Some animals that brave the extreme cold-Penguins, Polar Bears, Wolves. Discuss how God prepares them for this.

Winter Activities: ~ As some animals stay the winter, you will see animal tracks in the snow if you look. Try and identify what animal made the tracks, especially bear, deer, moose, and the snowshoe hare. ~Feed the squirrels and birds in winter. It is always a joy to see wildlife in the dead of winter. With the snow, it is more difficult to find food, so putting out seed and peanuts will attract these busy animals. Refer again to Kids Easy- to- Create Wildlife Habitats

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~Make a winter garden: as the weather gets cooler, bring plants indoors and place in a sunny spot. Herbs do well and geraniums will continue to bloom if they get enough sunlight. Alfalfa sprouts are fun to grow all year round.

Animal Study ~Although this is more of a guided independent study, here are a couple of activities that could be done as you research your animal ~Use the Venn Diagram from the Student Pages to compare the needs of an animal with yours ~List the Characteristics of a mammal ~Research an animal of your choice For the K-1s, small books could include interesting facts about the animal, or use sentence prompts for each of the pages, and have your child print a response on the line and draw a picture for each sentence. Some examples of these sentence prompts: Owls can_________ Owls have_______ Owls live________ Owls eat_______ An owls enemy is__________ Or This is an owl It is a nocturnal bird It eats mice It is brown and white It has ear tufts ...etc... ~ For the older students: There are so many Canadian animals to choose from, but once you decide which one you would like to learn more about, use the Topic Outline and follow the Guidelines for Writing an Animal Report found in the Student Pages.
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Use the subtopics; appearance, habitat, food, habits, their young, enemies and other interesting facts. This report can be presented as a chart, PowerPoint, a theme book or lapbook. ~Other book ideas from The Big Book of Books by Dinah Zike or Lapbook ideas from this Homeschool share site lapbooking_resources.php ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Poems and scripture for memory work or to read aloud: Check with the HCOS library for books on poetry: Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost Seasons : favorite poems Snow toward evening : a year in a river valley : nature poems

All Things Bright and Beautiful ~Cecil Frances Alexander All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all. Each little flower that opens, Each little bird that sings, He made their glowing colors, He made their tiny wings. The purple-headed mountain, The river running by, The sunset, and the morning, That brightens up the sky; The cold wind in the winter, The pleasant summer sun, The ripe fruits in the garden, He made them every one. He gave us eyes to see them, And lips that we might tell, How great is God Almighty, Who has made all things well.

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The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a yellow wood And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that, the passing there Had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back. I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood and I I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Poems about trees and leaves Falling Leaves Little leaves fall softly down Red and yellow, orange and brown Whirling, twirling round and round Falling softly to the ground Little leaves fall softly down To make a carpet on the ground. Then, swish, the wind comes whistling by And sends them dancing to the sky.

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Down Down By Eleanor Farjean Down, down Yellow and brown The leaves are falling Over the town. Who Has Seen the Wind? By Christina Rossetti Who has seen the wind? Neither I nor you: But when the leaves hang trembling The wind is passing thro Who has seen the wind? Neither you nor I: But when the trees bow down their heads The wind is passing by. Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

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Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village, though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer To stop without a farmhouse near Between the woods and frozen lake The darkest evening of the year. He gives his harness bells a shake To ask if there is some mistake. The only other sound's the sweep Of easy wind and downy flake. The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. Bird Poems Something Told the Wild Geese By Rachel Field Something told the wild geese it was time to go, Though the fields lay golden Something whispered, "snow. ' Leaves were green and stirring, berries, luster-glossed, But beneath warm feathers Something cautioned, "frost." All the sagging orchards steamed with amber spice, But each wild breast stiffened At remembered ice. Something told the wild geese it was time to fly, Summer sun was on their wings, Winter in their cry.
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The Wise old Owl The wise old owl Sat on an oak The more he saw The less he spoke The less he spoke The more he heard Why cant we all Be like that wise old bird?

The Eagle by Alfred Tennyson He clasps the crag with crooked hands; Close to the sun in lonely lands, Ringed with the azure world, he stands. The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls; He watches from his mountain walls, And like a thunderbolt he falls. The Squirrel Anonymous Whisky, frisky, Hippity hop; Up he goes To the tree top!

Whirly, twirly, Round and round, Down he scampers To the ground.

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Furly, curly What a tail! Tall as a feather Broad as a sail!

Where's his supper? In the shell, Snappity, crackity, Out it fell.

Mice I think mice are rather nice; Their tails are long, their faces small; They haven't any chins at all. Their ears are pink, their teeth are white, They run about the house at night; They nibble things they shouldn't touch, and, no one seems to like them much, but, I think mice are rather nice. By Rose Fyleman Scriptures: Genesis 1:1-; Psalm 8, Psalm 24; Matthew 6: 29, Psalm 19: 1-4, Psalm 66:1 Psalm 46:10- Be still and know that I am God


Fiction to supplement your Nature Study...

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Some lovely animal picture books and others can be found at the library: All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan (who also wrote Sarah, Plain and Tall) Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert Why Do Leaves Change Color? - Betsy Maestro The Maple Syrup Book - Marilyn LInton James Herriots Treasury for children Dannys Duck by June Crebbin Make Way for Ducklings and other books by Robert McCloskey (such as Blueberries for Sal) The Tale of Peter Rabbit and other tales by Beatrix Potter The Biggest Bear by Lynd Ward Christian Liberty Nature Readers Look to the North: A Wolf Pup Diary by Jean Craighead George The Robins in Your Backyard by Nancy Carol Willis The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein Tree in the Trail by Holling C. Holling Seabird by Holling C. Holling At Home with Beatrix Potter: The Creator of Peter Rabbit and other living books from the Simply Charlotte Mason site Interesting reading for older children or read aloud SquirrelsContentPage.html this book, by John Burroughs was first written in 1875, but can now be viewed at this link.

Some novels about animals The Complete Winnie-the-Pooh by AA Milne The Dear Old Briar Patch by Thornton W Burgess and his other animal adventures Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat James Herriots Treasury for children Charlottes Web and TheTrumpet of the Swan by EB White
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Jacobs Little Giant by Barbara Smucker My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George Mr. Poppers Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater All Creatures Great and Small James Herriott

Poetry books Favourite Poems Old and New by Helen Ferris A Childs Garden of Verses Featuring the works of Robert Louis Stevenson (Thomas Kinkade)

References used in developing this Nature kit: A Charlotte Mason Education: A Home Schooling How-To Manual by Catherine Levison Wild Days: Creating Discovery Journals by Karen Skidmore Rackliffe Knee High Natures Fall: A guide to Nature Activities and Fun by Pat Wishart and Dianne Hayley Handbook of Nature Study by Anna Botsford Comstock The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden. (Written in 1906, can be found through Amazon, second-hand) Exploring Creation with Botany, Textbook by Jeannie Fulbright Nature with Children of all Ages by Edith a Sisson Feeding Wild Birds in Winter by Clive Dobson Fall by Marlene and Robert McCracken Favourite Poems Old and New by Helen Ferris A Childs Garden of Verses Featuring the works of Robert Louis Stevenson (Thomas Kinkade) There are many books available in the HCOS Library, including the ones below:
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Your backyard is wild! Log Hotel 175 amazing nature experiments Take a city nature walk Woods

Corwin, Jeff. Schreiber, Anne. Harlow, Rosie. Kirkland, Jane Silver, Donald M Karen Skidmore Rackliffe

Wild Days-Creating Discovery Journals

Aleta Karstad's Canadian nature notebook.

The Usborne Complete First Book of Nature The Life of Birds DVD set

To find more books on trees, birds, animals and nature, just search the library catalog!
2011Janine Hanson

The Nature Science Study could address most of the Life Science topics at the elementary grade levels if the enrichment activities and readings are completed as well as the basic lessons. Science K Students will: be encouraged to appreciate God's creation as they learn about the world around them increase their knowledge of the Characteristics of Living Things by being able to describe features of local plants and animals, and comparing local plants and common animals observe their Surroundings and be able to describe features of their immediate environment discover and make observations with the use of the five senses

Science Gr. 1 Students will: Be encouraged to appreciate God's creation as they learn about the world around them.
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increase their knowledge the Needs of Living Things as they describe the basic needs of local plants and animals and how these needs are met in their environment be able to describe changes that occur in daily and seasonal cycles and their effects on living things communicate their observations, experiences and thinking in a variety of ways, and classify objects, events and organisms Science Gr. 2 The students will study a variety of topics this year in the areas of Life, Physical and Earth and Space Science and be encouraged to appreciate God's world as they study His plan for creation. They will: will classify familiar animals according to similarities and differences in appearance, behaviour and life cycles describe some changes that affect animals describe ways in which animals are important to other living things and the environment describe physical properties of air, water and soil distinguish ways in which air, water and soil interact explain why air, water and soil are important for living things

Science Gr. 3 The students will study a variety of topics this year in the areas of Life, Physical and Earth and Space Science and be encouraged to appreciate God's world as he studies His plan for creation. He will: compare familiar plants according to similarities and difference in appearances and life cycles describe ways in which plants are important to other living things and the environment describe how plants are harvested and used throughout the seasons. participate in the hands-on activities as suggested.

Science 4 The student will study a variety of topics in the areas of Life, Physical and Earth and Space Science: make predictions, supported by reason and relevant to the content use data from investigations to recognize patterns and relationships and reach conclusions.

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be able to compare the structures and behaviours of local animals and plants in different habitats and communities analyze simple food chains, and determines how personal choices and actions have environmental consequences.

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