Monday, 9 January 2012

Wasp studies

Yesterday morning this wasp appeared in the children's cloakroom at school. At first it wasn't moving and appeared to be dead. I was worried it would still sting me so I trapped it in a petri dish with  the intention that if it was dead I could maybe keep it. It didn't move straight away so I taped the petri dish and left it for a while. It started to move and I realised that it was still alive and knew that Little-N would love some time to observe it.  

Little-N kept it on his desk next to him and began to research in his books to find out about the wasp. He was fascinated when he saw it open and close its mandible [mouth].

 He then worked on drawing this very detailed picture of a wasp and labelled the different parts.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Birds: Ornithologist to be?

Little-Ns big interest at the moment is in birds. For the last three months everyday has included independent research and studies about birds. His favourite birds are birds of prey, specifically falcons. His interest began to develop from watching flight patterns of birds in our area. It was further developed one day at school when he was sitting by himself reading in my classroom as I rushed around my school managing and teaching children. He found this little bird book in a cupboard:

We also had some RSPB bird posters on the wall. He suddenly rushed up to me and said his favourite bird is a Merlin. I had no clue what a Merlin was and he soon filled me in with too much information about a Merlin along with a hand drawn picture.

Over the next few days Little-N went through every book at school, home and the library reading about birds. Here are some of the books he read:

This book is amazing. He read it so much it's falling apart!

These are really good for taking on outings.

Birds of Britain  Essential Guide, with lovely fold out pages about birds.

 A very detailed book about birds of prey.

This book has amazing maps of birds.
This book is fantastic, his favourite with so many beautiful pictures.

Along with the reading comes a lot of independent research and pictures:

Here is a picture of a Merlin that he drew:

Here is what Little-N calls a 'fact file' about gyrfalcons, this is all his independent work that I often don't know about until he's completed it:

Here is a book he made one day while I was out working:

This is an example of one of the pages inside:

He has made so many bird books and drawn so many bird pictures. Even today I came home to another bird book he made :) I'm so happy with his independence and ability to sit and work on his projects without my help. 

Reading about birds had exposed Little-N to Latin as many birds have Latin names that are included in his books. Somehow he has found away to learn the Latin names of birds and some other Latin words. I'm so surprised that Little-N is walking around saying 'Falco rusticolus' apparently that's the Latin name for a gyrfalcon!

He read about the RSPB bird reserves and asked me to take him to visit one. I found one 15mins away from my home so we went for a quick visit. He loved it!

Little-N is keen to join the bird spotting club in our local park and has already identified all the birds we've seen while cycling through to school.