Outdoor Hour Challenge-Winter Series #5 Pine Trees


Outdoor Hour Challenge
Winter Series Ebook
Pine Trees in Winter

(See previous Pine Tree Challenge #32)

Inside Preparation Work:
This week read in the Handbook of Nature Study pages 670-675 to learn more about pine trees. Even if you don’t think you have any pines in your area, it is still interesting to read the information for future reference. Make sure to note the ideas suggested for studying pines in the lesson at the end of the section.

Outdoor Hour Time:
Spend 15 minutes outdoors this week with your children in your own yard or on your own street. This week you will have two suggested activities.

*If you have a pine tree of any variety in your yard or on your street, use the ideas from the lesson on page 674 and 675 to guide your observation of the pine tree.
Pine cones 1
Some ideas to get you started:
What is the general shape of the pine tree?
Is there one central stem running straight up through the center of the tree to the top?
What color is the bark? Is the bark ridged or in scales?
Study the pine leaves. Why are they called needles? How many needles in the bundle?
Does it have a cone?

*If you do not have a pine to observe or you would like an additional activity, take some time to lay under any kind of tree that is available. Look up at the branches. Listen to the sounds of the leaves. Try to spot some kind of wildlife in the tree. Have your children tell you with their words what they experienced while under the tree.

Pine cones on the tree
Follow-Up Activity:
After your observation time, use a field guide (see suggestions on the bottom of this post) to identify your particular pine tree. Make a rubbing of your tree’s needles. We have found this blog page to be especially helpful in identifying pines:

Make sure to give time and the opportunity for a nature journal entry. If you observed a pine tree, try to complete Exercise Ten of the lesson on pine trees: Draw a bundle of pine needles showing the sheath and its attachment to the twig; the cone; the cone scale; the seed. Sketch a pine tree. You could also include a leaf or needle rubbing in your nature journal this week. There is a notebook page included with the Winter Nature Study ebook or you can complete another Seasonal Tree Study page with your pine tree. As always, you are free to use a blank journal page in your nature journal.

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  1. We have a break in the weather this morning, so we’ll head out! Thanks for the challenges!

  2. We saw beautiful pine trees yesterday on our walk..we’ll have to put together our study and then post about it!
    thanks :)

  3. What fun. We even had pines in Hawaii. They were Norfolk Pines, which look a lot like those decorative bottlebrush trees that you see around Christmas.

    Pines here in Japan tend to have bunches of needles along the branches sort of like foxtails stuck onto the branches.

    This would be a great challenge to do before Christmas, when there are often varieties of pines and firs for examination at tree lots even if you don’t have those varieties growing naturally in the area.

  4. We had fun learning about our big white spruce right in our yard. Thank you for the challenge!

  5. I had no idea we had white pines in SC but I found a couple in my neighbors yard and we had lots of fun exploring them and drawing in our journals afterward. Thanks so much!

  6. We enjoyed trying to identify our Pine tree in our neighborhood…Thank you for keeping us on task to get outdoors and enjoy this wonderful creation!

  7. I have been watching this blog for ages – but never got serious. Now that my kids are a bit older (9, 8, 6 and 4) I think we are ready to get on board! We loved this Pine Cone study! Thanks for all you do here!!

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