While studying seeds, plants and flowers, I love to take a field trip to a beautiful garden. Unfortunately, my plans to do so recently were vetoed by weather reports for a thunder storm. So instead, we visited a beautiful greenhouse we’re lucky to have nearby.
To keep things focused, we started with a scavenger hunt. My little guy was instantly determined to snap a photo of everything on the list!
(You can use this Printable Greenhouse Scavenger Hunt form you see below, or make your own based on your venue.)
Of course, interest and curiosity took us down some different paths, which is always fine with me! (I use the scavenger hunt to catch their attention out of the gate, and as a way to redirect if things get too off-task, but I don’t consider curiosity itself to be an off-task behavior.)
We snapped shots of our favorite specimens.
Hydrangeas for me. (This photo is a perfect souvenir since I can’t seem to keep them alive in real life.)
The Venus Fly Trap for my son. (Which led to a collection of videos and drawings of the carnivorous plant keeping us busy for several days.)
This is something you can make fancy with a program like Blurb, or take the
slacker easy/inexpensive route like I did and print a few dollars worth of photos at Costco and tape them to printed pages from your computer. (I simply stapled the pages together and covered the staples with colored duct tape.)
You can make something like this as a dictated story from your child, letting them join you at the computer and watch as you take their spoken words and turn them into print. (Find tips for doing a dictated story with your child here at Simple Kids.) It’s a great way to build language and literacy skills while reinforcing the experience and the concepts you explored.
You could also use the photos to create a meaningful emergent reader, following a pattern and using simple sentences so that young readers can begin to read independently with just a bit of exposure. You could also use the opportunity to introduce or practice sight words appropriate to the individual level. (You can find the Dolch Sight Word Lists here to give you some inspiration for words you may want to focus on and include.)
Whatever purpose you decide to focus on, involving children in creating their own books always fosters their interest in reading. And interest is always a great place to start with young readers.
Have you made books with the children you love and teach?