The Sycamore :: Nature Study

One of the Outdoor Hour Challenges this month is on Maple seeds.  I haven’t come across a Maple (that I recall) since we moved here – not even the ornamental Japanese Maple.  We are very familiar with Maple (see our previous post, Sugaring Time) so I opted to tweak the assignment just a little and focus on a tree that is less familiar to us … 
The Sycamore
We observed this specimen outside our city library and the kids remarked how similar the leaves appear to Maple.  They asked me if it was .. and I immediately directed them to look at the seeds.  The Maple’s seeds are very distinguishing as are the fruits or seed pods of what we discovered is the Sycamore.  I wasn’t familiar with this tree so we utilized a dichotomous key just as we had done earlier this month for a our leaf study

We read in a field guide that the Sycamore is sometimes called the Ghost of the Forest because the dark, older bark flakes off to reveal white chalky patches.  

While I read aloud from Isaac Newton (Giants of Science biography series by Kathleen Krull), the munchkins sketched the leaf, seed pod or fruit, and a bark segment in their journals.

Reading aloud was great .. they love the story .. but in doing so, I am not able to journal myself.  So … I may not always choose this option.  I’m delighted in their efforts though .. Sweetie even took time to show the scale of her drawings.  🙂

About Eva Varga

Eva is passionate about education. She has extensive experience in both formal and informal settings. She presently homeschools her two young children, teaches professional development courses through the Heritage Institute, and writes a middle level secular science curriculum called Science Logic. In addition to her work in education, she is an athlete, competing in Masters swimming events and marathons. In her spare time she enjoys reading, traveling, learning new languages, and above all spending time with her family. ♥

2 comments on “The Sycamore :: Nature Study

  1. Thanks for choosing a different tree and sharing your study with the OHC. I love it when families make the challenges fit their local area. Great information and journal entries…complete with scale! I am really glad you submitted this to the carnival.

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