Outdoor Hour Challenge – Burdock Wildflower Study


Budock Nature Study @handbookofnaturestudy

NOTE: Once again this week, if you don’t find any burdock in your neighborhood, please pick another weed or wildflower to study.

Inside Preparation Work

  • Read pages 527-529 (Lesson 142) in the Handbook of Nature Study. Read through the lesson activity suggestions for ideas to use in your family. Discuss how the burdock is a “selfish” plant.
  • Watch this video to mainly see what the leaves and roots look like: Wild Edibles. It is up to you whether you want to try eating it or not, I mainly like this video because it gives a clear look at what burdock looks like so you can search in your local area.
  • This site has clear images for identification: Natural Biodiversity.
  • Advanced Study Idea: Watch this video showing how the idea for Velcro came from the burrs of a burdock plant: http://youtu.be/7Tv14c17PIQ

Outdoor Hour Time:

  • This time of year you should be able to identify both first and second year burdock plants. The first year plants will have a basal arrangement of leaves and the second year will have the flower stalk, flowers, and perhaps stickers.
  • Collect some burrs from the burdock plant to look at under your magnifying lens at home.
  • Advanced Study: If you have permission, dig up a burdock plant and carefully sketch and label the plant’s parts in your nature journal.
  • If you don’t have any burdock to study, make sure to look for another plant with sticker burrs to observe.

Follow-Up Activity

  • Record in your nature journal your burdock observations. You can use the notebook page provided with the ebook. Younger children can use the coloring page in the ebook.
  • If you were able to collect some burrs from the burdock plant, look at them with a magnifying lens or microscope. Why do you think this part of the burdock plant led to the development of Velcro.
  • Advanced Study: Do research about invasive species of plants in your area and then complete the notebook page included in the ebook.

Additional Links

Here is a video:

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Join us for this series of challenges every week here on the Handbook of Nature Study. If you want to purchase the Autumn Nature Study Continues ebook so you can follow along with all the notebooking pages, coloring pages, and subject images, you can join the Ultimate or Journey Membership Levels. See the Join Us page for complete information. Also, you can view the Autumn Nature Study Continues content list on the announcement page.

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  1. Diane Vitas says:

    I just started homeschooling this year using the simply charlotte mason curriculum. i signed up for the $45/year handbook of nature subscription. Today is the first chance I started looking at the website and I am confused. Where do I go to read the specific pages mentioned in the Handbook of Nature Study? Is it online or a book I should have?

  2. I just wanted to say that I found this study lesson very interesting! I live in Japan and eat burdock root all the time but have never seen the actual plant. I had no idea its flowers were so beautiful. Now Im curious and want to learn more about it. Thanks a lot!

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