Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Buggin' Out

Clusters of milkweed bugs -- most young but of varying sizes, with a few adults scattered in  -- clamber all over each other and the pods of the milkweed plants that host them.  Very cool. 
Water lilies are in full bloom!
I will tell you one of my favorite phenology-teaching stories... Several years ago, we were doing a phenology/Native American curricular activity with 1st grade students... pretty young.  The basic idea was that we studied the native calendars, how they named the months after phenological occurences (Snow crust moon, Strawberry moon, etc.), and then the kids created their own calendar based on the phenology here.  We did this activity in late winter, but we wanted a full year calendar, so we had each child do his/her birthmonth.  A lot of the summer ones were ended up being "hot moon" or "sunny moon"... it's not like they could go outside and look at what was happening in August, and they were pretty young.  Asking them to remember what was happening outside on their birthday... well, as I said.  A lot of "hot" and "sunny."  But then I had this one student who drew a water lily and explained that in August around his birthday he always saw them on the pond.  I remember being so impressed by that!  (There were several other examples of really excellent memories/observations -- I don't want to imply that this was the only one.  But it's the one I will always remember!)

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