Here is a nature based activity which uses photography to teach you how to document and research a subject- namely trees and plant life. There are thought to be between 300 and 315 thousand species of plants on the earth. All living things evolved in a certain place because the temperature and climate is best suited for their survival- the papaya tree in your back yard thrives because you live in a tropical climate, or the Queen of the Night plant with its sweet perfume blooms because of the temperate climate where someone else lives. But how many names of plants do you know?
A really fun way for you to do this is using photography. First you’ll have to learn how to use a digital camera to take pictures. A simple point and shoot will work. Ask your parent or elder brother or sister to teach you how to take pictures and review them on the camera and you’ll be ready to start your activity.
The next time you are on a picnic or even a walk around your neighbourhood carry your camera along with you. Take pictures of the varied plants you see. Start with a picture of the whole plant or tree from a couple of different angles. Then move closer and take 3 to 4 detailed pictures of the leaves, how they are placed on a branch, flowers and fruit, etc. After your done uploading these images onto a computer you can review them nice and big.
Catalogue of species
You’re now ready to create your own catalogue of trees and plants! Gather all the information you can about the trees and plants you photographed. If you know the name of the plant, do a google search for it. I guarantee you’ll find scores of information about it.
You can use the following format to look for information:
- Is it a bush, shrub, tree, etc.
- Where does it grow naturally?
- Is it native to the region you live in?
- Can it be grown indoors?
- What kind of climate is best suited for the plant/tree.
- What time of the year does it flower or fruit?
Use this format to create a catalogue of all the plants in your pictures. You should also include interesting historical facts about the species like is it a cash plant or a food plant? And if it is not native to where you found it, find out who brought it to the region.
If you can’t find information about a particular plant you can start by visiting your local plant nursery and show them the pictures of the plants you cannot identity. They will more often than not be able to give you an accurate answer. Once you at least know the name you can carry on your research back home.
And since you’re actually at a nursery you could also adopt a small potted plant for your room as a reminder of the beauty of nature every morning when you wake up.
Thing you will need
- Unruled book
- Crayons/sketch pens/etc
For more interesting Nature activities for kids, visit: http://mocomi.com/fun/nature-activities/