I love it every year when the wild violets bloom on the little hill in our front yard. They are so delicate and beautiful and make one so cheerful. Steven noticed that they were in bloom this weekend so were perfect for a nature study lesson this week. After I read up on them in the Handbook of Nature Study and Nature for the Very Young, we looked at them closely, noting the things I had learned about them.
"Examine a violet plant closely. Note the saw-toothed, heart-shaped leaves...Look closely at the base of the plant. Here you will find tiny flowers which never open. These are called cleistogamos, or seed flowers. They are pollinated from their own anthers." -Nature for the Very Young, A Handbook of Indoor and Outdoor Activites by Marcia Bowden
I copied the photos of the violet plant in Nature for the Very Young and reviewed the parts of the plant with Quentin. We then painted copies of the violet plant with watercolor. I try to mix times in which I ask them to draw the subject themselves with times in which they can just paint copies of the subject. Getting them to draw themselves is, of course, better, forcing them to notice more, but they object to always having to draw since drawing is not their favorite thing to do.