As you participate in our Nature Learning activities, please remember to wash your hands, maintain safe social distancing, and follow all appropriate guidelines to help protect yourself and others during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

NATURE LEARNING ACTIVITIES

In a world of ever-advancing technology, demanding schedules and more time spent indoors in front of screens, many children find themselves disconnected from their natural world. Studies have shown that spending time in nature is beneficial for children in almost all aspects of their lives.

These activities can be used to engage students at home to enrich e-learning, in school groups, or as part of summer camps!
 

Be A plant Scientist!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • Pen or a pencil
  • Data Sheet
  • Optional: ruler/tape measure, string, thermometer

HERE ARE THE STEPS:

  1. Pick a plant, flower, tree or vegetable in your yard or neighborhood to observe.
  2. Every Day for 10 days, go outdoors and observe your chosen plant, flower tree or vegetable
  3. Fill out your Data Sheet, describing the weather conditions and anything else you notice about your plant, flower, tree or vegetable including color, height, texture, and animals that might be nearby.
  4. Submit your completed Data Sheet to hmaurer@kibi.org to receive a free seed packet! 

BONUS: If you are observing an Indiana native plant, check out the Plant Finder at indiananativeplants.org and see what kind of pollinators it supports!  Pollinators are animals that move pollen from flower to flower. Examples of common pollinators are bees, wasps, butterflies, moths, and flies.

This lesson utilizes the following STEM Skills:

Analyzing, Classifying and Categorizing, Comparing and Contrasting, Identifying Attributes and Components, Observing

NATIVE PLANT MEMORY GAME

Create your own “memory” game using Indiana Native Plants! Cut out 24 equal-size squares (reuse a piece of paper if you can!) and draw Indiana native plants using the photos from the Lesson Plan. Remember to draw the same plant on two squares. Turn the squares over, mix them up and test your memory!

You can also print out the KIB Memory Cards and cut out the squares.

WHAT YOU NEED:

A piece of paper and something to draw with!

HERE ARE THE STEPS:

  1. Draw or print out your 24 memory cards
  2. Turn all the cards face down in a grid
  3. Take turns choosing 2 cards to turn over. If you found a match, take the cards out of the grid. If you didn't find a match, turn the cards face down again, but remember where they are so you can make a match later!
  4. Play until all the cards are matched!

Poetree! 🌳

"PoeTREE" encourages students tap into their five senses and creativity to write a poem inspired by their natural surroundings. This activity teaches students about several forms of poetry and is a great way to mindfully immerse your students in nature. This lesson comes to us from Project Learning Tree.

What you need:

Nature, something to write one, something to write with

Here are the steps:

  1. Go outside and get inspired (following safe social distancing practices)!
  2. Choose a form of poetry to practice
  3. Write your poem(s)! Try writing more than one to get extra practice.

This lesson touches on Indiana Academic Standards:

Science (Life Science), English/Language Arts (Reading: Foundations, Reading: Nonfiction, Writing, and Speaking & Listening).

  • Science: K.LS.2; 1.LS.3
  • English/Language Arts: 1-5.RF.5; 1-5.W.1; 1-5.W.2.1; 1-5.SL.2.1-5; 1-2.SL.4.1; 2-5.RN.1

This lesson utilizes the following STEM Skills:

Composing, Identifying Attributes and Components, Interpreting, Making Analogies and Metaphors, Observing

Nature BINGO

This activity helps students get to know their outdoor space!  Create personalized BINGO boards containing different things that can be found on outside your home and around your neighborhood.   Take your time exploring the outdoors to fill up your new BINGO board!

What you need:

Nature BINGO board, outdoors

Here are the steps:

  1. Download or build your Nature BINGO board
  2. Go outside (following safe social distancing practices)
  3. Find the things on your BINGO board! (start by trying to get a BINGO)

This lesson utilizes the following STEM Skills:

Classifying and Categorizing, Exploring, Identifying Attributes and Components, Observing, Ordering and Arranging

Specimen Bracelet

This activity is from our friends at the STEM Connection! Kids will be encouraged to walk around outside searching for interesting specimens that they can add to their bracelets to display and observe over time.

What you need:

duct tape; clear packing tape

Here are the steps:

  1. Place tape around your wrist like a bracelet, sticky side out.
  2. Hike around outdoors and find specimens, and stick them to your bracelet. (Remember to only pick up loose parts, and do not pick anything that is living like insects, or the flowers off a plant.)
  3. Once you have filled your specimen bracelet, cover the bracelet with packing tape to seal in the specimens. 
  4. You can observe the specimens with magnifying glasses and use your creation as a bracelet (or cut the loop to make it into a bookmark)

This lesson utilizes the following STEM Skills:

Exploring, Observing, Ordering and Arranging

 

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REDUCE AND REUSE ACTIVITY

The Indianapolis Department of Public Works is challenging us to reduce, reuse and recycle!  Let’s answer the challenge by finding ways to REUSE and REPURPOSE items in our homes! 

You can also print out the KIB Reuse Activity Guide, but you have to at least make a paper airplane out of it when you're finished.

WHAT YOU NEED:

Items at home that you are ready to throw away or recycle.

HERE ARE THE STEPS:

  1. Challenge yourself and/or your family to use EVERYTHING at least twice before you throw it away. For example, a salsa jar (use #1) can be washed out and used to hold water for a water color painting (use #2).
  2. Turn that trash or recyclable item into something new! This could be anything from an art project to a garden tool.
  3. Share your creative ideas on social media and tag @kibiorg!

 

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Water Health Activity

Our friends at Project WET have created a suite of free and discounted resources that educators, parents and children can use to learn about water! 

Download several of their award-winning activities and check out a video on how to explore the properties of water with pre-school children!

 

 

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NATURE DETECTIVES

The Indy City Nature Challenge has officially kicked off!  In honor of this event we are sharing this great activity from the City Nature Challenge Education Toolkit.
Good detective work is important in understanding animals.  Today we will look for clues that tell us how they exist!

WHAT YOU NEED:

A piece of paper and something to write with.

HERE ARE THE STEPS:

  1. Make a list of all of the different kinds of animal evidence you may see when you explore outside (animal homes, tracks, droppings, scratches, marks, half eaten plants)
  2. Go outside and explore, looking for animal evidence.  Remember to be kind to nature, not ripping anything out of the ground.
  3. Record what you find in your different categories and draw pictures of what you see. 
  4. Try to identify which animal the evidence may belong to!

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Sustainability is a top priority at Roche Indy. Our campus is a zero landfill site (with the exception of wastes that are not able to be incinerated) and is 100% powered by renewable energy!