Outdoor Hour Challenge – Cattle and Deer

Cattle and Deer Nature Study @handbookofnaturestudy

Outdoor Hour Challenge


Inside Preparation Work:

  • Parents: Read the Handbook of Nature Study pages 280-286 (Lesson 68). Make sure to read through the lesson suggestions to pick a few for your family to complete.
  • Use these links to learn more about deer in North America: White Tail Deer, Mule Deer. (We will stick to these two species to narrow our study.) This page also has many deer and their relatives all in one place with images: Elk and Deer Family.
  • Some printables: What do deer eat?
  • Fun Page of information and a video: What is the difference between horns and antlers?
  • Optional: Eat and enjoy some dairy, beef, or venison products if your children will enjoy knowing where they come from.

Outdoor Hour Time:

  • This lesson may be done in preparation for a future observation of cattle or deer. Anna Botsford Comstock strived to include lessons in the Handbook of Nature Study that would offer topics for personal observation. Because of the changing times and lifestyles we have in the 21st century, we may not have much personal contact with cattle or deer.
  • Strive to think of creative ways to see some cattle or a deer over the next term, whether it means a trip to the zoo or a visit to a farm. Spend time observing some of the things that are spoken of in the Handbook of Nature Study lesson.
  • In the meantime, use your outdoor time this week to share the information with your children and then go outdoors to look for any mammals you have in your neighborhood.
  • Look for deer tracks!

Follow-Up Activity:

  • Since most families will be learning about cows and deer from books and images, make sure you allow lots of time to talk about these animals during your week. Create a nature journal entry for cattle and/or deer with the information you learn. Use the notebook page in the ebook if you wish: Cow Notebook Page and Deer Notebook Page.
  • Younger Children: Print and complete the deer lapbook free printable. There is also a lapbook for cattle.
  • Advanced Study: Compare and contrast a cow and a doe. There is a notebook page provided in the ebook for your convenience.
  • Advanced Study: Sketch a cow and label the various parts of its anatomy.
  • Advanced Study: Learn about the different breeds of cattle and pick one to write about in your nature journal. Here is link to breeds: List of Cattle Breeds.


Handbook of Nature Study Ultimate Naturalist Library
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Outdoor Hour Challenge Winter Nature Study Continues ebook

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