Monday, April 23, 2012

OHC - The Dandelion

It was back to school last week. I have to say that it was a very successful and way less stressful start after the Easter holidays. The girls were quite positive and of course we had our nature study to look forward to again. This week we had a friend join us for our Friday nature study which made it all the more exciting.

With Dandelions being seemingly everywhere I look at the moment, I thought that I would take the opportunity and write my own challenge. So one rainy Sunday afternoon, I sat down with the Handbook of Nature Study and read up on the Dandelion. As usual, my preparation revealed how little I actually 'knew' about this little plant. We really do take nature around us for granted, thinking that we know but actually knowing very little about the natural world around us.

So the plan:

I read pages 531-5535 of the 'Handbook', highlighting the areas I wanted to share with the children before our nature walk. Next I made some notes for our outdoor time. I wanted each child to dig up their own plant -roots and all. They needed to pick some strong dandelion flowers to investigate what it was that the 'Handbook' meant when it said, 'The hollow stalk of the blossom-head from time immemorial has been a joy to children. It may be made into a trombone....' pg 532

Next I drew up some notebooking pages for the lesson. One to be completed in our nature hour and a second which requires a day long commitment to observing the Dandelion and with a few questions to be answered - an easy way to guide their observations. So we were good to go.

With our friend arriving in good time, we set about to reading up on the Dandelion. As I had to wait for a grocery delivery, we sent the children to the top of the lane to gather some Dandelion flowers - stalks and all. They came back flushed and full of excitement. We investigated the above quote and found, to the delight of the children - a new musical instrument. Our little friend was most impressed and I'm sure that his friends will think him quite clever when he reveals this little Dandelion secret! The children had just enough time to fill in some interesting dandelion facts that they had gleaned from our reading.

Once the groceries had arrived, we were ready for our outdoor time. Armed with our waterproof jackets to protect us from the showers as well as a garden trowel, we headed out to collect our specimens as well as some dandelion heads for some more delicious dandelion bread. (Have you made yours yet Janet :o) ?
Finally! Miss J-L's THIRD attempt at getting a plant with roots!
In digging up our plants, we discovered why the simple dandelion can survive so very well in all conditions. They have a very sturdy root system that reach deep down in the soil.

Of course there is always time to get rid of some of those 'sillies' which tend to be stored up inside of children after lots of rather rainy weather! We were soon chased back inside as the heavens opened up and drummed down a healthy shower of tiny hail and rain (ice showers I call them).

The children set about drawing their dandelion plants while I made some hot chocolate to warm them up as well as some lunch. Children are always hungry it seems, even more so when the weather is cold and wet!
Feel free to download my Dandelion Notebooking Pages

Once we released them from their table work, they hastened outside for some good old country air and play whilst my friend and I had a lovely visit. All in all a really fun and enjoyable nature day. We have decided to meet up at least once a month to share our nature hour. Perhaps sooner this month as the Bluebells are blooming in the woods! Can't wait to go and have a look!

POSTSCRIPT: My friend found this beautiful time lapse YouTube video of the Dandelion flower. We thought it was just beautiful.


  1. Ahhh...the wonderful dandelion - a beautiful little plant to sketch, and also delicious to eat. ;)

  2. What a wonderful dandelion study. We were outside this morning pulling our own up from the garden walkway...their roots are very hearty! I love that you went out even though it was wet to add in some nature time and to work all those "sillies".

    Thanks for sharing your notebook pages too!


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