Homeschooling in Massachusetts

Nature Studies

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Nature Studies
 Things to See & Do in Massachusetts
 Activities & Experiments
 Nature Studies Curricula
 Nature Studies Books

Things to See & Do in Massachusetts Back to Top
Appalachian National Scenic Trail
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail is a 2,174-mile footpath along the ridgecrests and across the major valleys of the Appalachian Mountains from Katahdin in Maine to Springer Mountain in northern Georgia. The trail traverses Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia.
Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
Boston Harbor Islands national park area includes 34 islands situated within the Greater Boston shoreline. The islands are rich in natural and cultural resources. Imagine a place where you can explore tide pools, walk through a Civil War era fort, climb a lighthouse, hike lush trails and salt marshes, camp under the stars, or relax while fishing, picnicking or swimming...all within reach of downtown Boston. The 34 islands are managed by a unique, 13-member Partnership which includes the National Park Service and other public and private organizations. An advisory council provides a mechanism for public involvement.
Buttonwood Park Zoo
The Buttonwood Park Zoo is located in New Bedford. On your journey through the Berkshires to the Sea exhibits you'll encounter black bears, mountain lions, bobcats, river otters, bald eagles, seals, and many other animals. They also have Asian elephants, North American bison, and one of the finest rare breed, farm animal collections in the United States.
Cape Cod National Seashore
Cape Cod National Seashore comprises 43,604 acres of shoreline and upland landscape features, including a forty-mile long stretch of pristine sandy beach, dozens of clear, deep, freshwater kettle ponds, and upland scenes that depict evidence of how people have used the land. A variety of historic structures are within the boundary of the Seashore, including lighthouses, a lifesaving station, and numerous Cape Cod style houses. The Seashore offers six swimming beaches, eleven self-guiding nature trails, and a variety of picnic areas and scenic overlooks.
Capron Park Zoo
Located in Attleboro, the Capron Park Zoo offers animal exhibits and educational programs.
Franklin Park Zoo
The Franklin Park Zoo, located in Boston, is comprised of four main exhibit areas, including the African Tropical Forest, Bird's World, the Children's Zoo, and Hooves & Horns. Offers special exhibits and educational programs.
Sudbury, Assabet & Concord National Wild & Scenic Rivers
These rivers have remained remarkably undeveloped considering their close proximity to the Boston metropolitan area. With ten of the designated river miles lying within the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, the SuAsCo Rivers offer abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation, are awash in scenic beauty, and provide prime waterfowl habitat in the form of large areas of riparian wetlands. As well, a unique legacy is woven through historical sites along the rivers' path. The Minute Man National Historical Park - located near Town of Concord - contains the Old North Bridge, the site of the revolutionary "Shot Heard 'Round the World." Securing a place in American literary history, the rivers are featured in the works of authors Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau.
The Butterfly Place
The Butterfly Place is an indoor living environment located in Westford, Massachusetts, which has been carefully designed for the propagation and development of some of nature’s most colorful living creations. This wonderful man-made habitat is contained within a 3,100 sq. ft. glass atrium building towering to a height of over 27 ft. at its peak. Within this atrium’s living butterfly environment can be found a variety of colorful plants and shrubs, each of which has been selected as a source of nectar for the butterflies. At any given time, the atrium may contain up to 500 butterflies representing as many as 50 different species from around the world, although butterflies which are native to the New England region are featured whenever possible.

Activities & Experiments Back to Top
Arbor Day National Poster Contest
Join over 74,000 fifth grade classrooms and home schools across America in the Arbor Day National Poster Contest. The theme chosen will increase your students’ knowledge of how trees produce and conserve energy. The free Activity Guide includes activities to use with fifth grade students to teach the importance of trees in producing and conserving energy. These activities correlate with National Science and Social Study Standards. The Guide also includes all of the information you need for poster contest participation.
Handbook of Nature Study
Based on Charlotte Mason's method of education, this website offers ideas and resources for incorporation nature study into your homeschool.
How I Teach a Large Family in a Relaxed, Classical Way: Science
Family style learning is a great way to tackle lots of different subjects, including science.

Nature Studies Curricula Back to Top
Apologia Educational Ministries
Apologia publishes several science textbooks that are especially suited to the homeschool environment. They are filled with easy to understand lessons and experiments which can easily be performed at home. The curriculum is also backed by a question/answer support system. This set of textbooks is written under the "Exploring Creation" name. There are three elementary level texts: Their middle school and high school texts include:
  • Exploring Creation With General Science
  • Exploring Creation With Physical Science
  • Exploring Creation With Biology
  • Exploring Creation With Chemistry
  • Exploring Creation With Physics
  • The Human Body: Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
  • Exploring Creation With Marine Biology
  • Advanced Chemistry in Creation
  • Advanced Physics in Creation
  • Plus other texts
    Considering God's Creation
    Considering God's Creation is a creative in-depth encounter with natural science from a biblical perspective. It is adaptable for grades 2-7. This is a large 272-page book that comes with a Teacher's Manual with audio CD.
    Great Science Adventures
    Great Science Adventures is a series of books that offer a creative approach to learning science. Each one showcases the series' method of using creative, hands-on activities to enhance exploratory learning. Each book contains 24 lessons, with 2-3 lessons completed each week. The unique format contains activities and basic content appropriate for grades K through 8. Perfect for multilevel teaching or if you want to challenge your advanced students individually. Titles include:
    • Discovering the Human Body and Senses
    • The World of Tools and Technology
    • Discovering Earth's Landforms and Surface Features
    • The World of Space
    • The World of Insects and Arachnids
    • The World of Plants
    • The World of Light and Sound

    Nature Studies Books Back to Top
    A History of Science
    A History of Science is not a textbook, but is a guide to help parents and children study science through literature. It is intended for children in elementary grades.
      
    Field Trips: Bug Hunting, Animal Tracking, Bird-watching, Shore Walking
    Publisher: HarperCollins
    Published: 2002

    With Jim Arnosky as your guide, an ordinary hike becomes an eye-opening experience. He'll help you spot a hawk soaring far overhead and note the details of a dragonfly up close. Study the black-and-white drawings -- based on his own field research -- and you'll discover if those tracks in the brush were made by a deer or a fox.

    In his celebrated style, this author, artist, and naturalist enthusiastically shares a wealth of tips. Jim Arnosky wants you to enjoy watching wildlife. He carefully explains how field marks, shapes, and location give clues for identifying certain plants and animals wherever you are. He gives hints for sharpening observational skills. And he encourages you to draw and record birds, insects, shells, animal tracks, and other finds from a busy day's watch.



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