Have you ever heard of a flower described as sun, moon and stars? Well, now we have! The yellow flower of the dandelion is the sun; round seed top is the moon and; the floating seeds we love to blow are like stars. There is nothing about the planets in this flowers name. Where then did the name dandelion come from (french name 'dent de lion' - teeth of lion, after the jagged leaf shape).
Dandelion is an amazing teacher about the life cycle of plants. Ask for a walk through of each stage of this plants life. We showed this understanding by choosing a plant at each stage from bud to naked seed top and placing them in order by stage of growth. This active learning requires close observation, comparison, decision making, ordering or sequencing and oral skills. Awesome holistic activity for all ages!
Looking up close at this flower you see that it is not a single flower but over 200 florettes bunched on a squishy cushion. See if your child can tell you about the parts of the flower that help make pollination by insects possible. Making a human model using these parts was our review work from last weeks lessons. It was fun but really stretched everyone to add parts in the right place and explain the process of pollination. Your child may be able to show you with actions what the female and male flower parts do. Check journals for flower part names from last week.
We know that dandelions are safe to eat. but were surprised that they are nutritious and tasty. We decided to work as a team to make our own flowery community snack. Our teams pulled together to mix and bake, light and tend the cooking fire, and make special decorations. Ask about which team your child was on, and what they did to help with this meal. Fire starters used flint and steel to make sparks to ignite a cotton ball. This turned into a roaring fire for our Dandelion Fritters. They were yummy with homemade maple syrup from our own trees at the farm.
Thank you to chef Daisy who kept the kitchen crew ticking like a swiss watch.
Here’s our special recipe.
DANDELION FRITTER RECIPE
1.5 cups flour
1-1.5 cups water or milk (we used water)
2 Tbs oil of your choice + oil for frying
1 ts baking powder
¼ ts salt + extra for sprinkling after cooking
1-3 Tbs of maple syrup or sugar (if desired)
1 cup of dandelion blossoms, freshly picked (we used 2-3 blossoms per fritter)
Are there any other flowers that are edible?
With full bellies we hiked off to Crayfish Catch. Ask for some of the interesting facts we learned about crayfish (builds a mud house, walk forward/swims backward, wears armour, eats plants and other animals) from our non-fiction book today. What was Squirrel showing us?
The hunt to find crayfish was a total success. How many and what sizes did we catch? We also found other critters that live in this small waterway. Who else makes their home in the creek and what do they look like? Ask to see your child's Animals in Water booklet as they share the details.
Sketching encourages close observation and we used our live models to draw the water animals we caught. The care and detail this group added was really amazing!
Back for a late lunch at Pine Haven. Daisy has our lunch routines down pat and helped us get organized for next week when she will be away. Do you have a special job? What funny joke that connects to our topic today did Frog find in his lunch? Aren't mom's incredible!!!
In the warm cabin we followed a step-by-step demonstration to make a foldable book. These small pages are just right for little hands or to pull out along the trail. We will use this skill again to record our next topic about ‘metamorphosis’.
Spring gives us a full menu of real time exciting changes. Although it is a wonderful time of growth, sometimes spring can be hard for animals. What happened to some of the new hatchling and fledgling Robins? These baby birds are fragile and low nests can put them in danger.
What other new sights, smells and happenings were part of our joyful day?
Keep looking up close at all the changes in your world; new flowers, nests, buds opening, leaves growing bigger, bugs in the grass, and so much more. Keep your keen observer eyes to the ground and skies Forest Friends:). Badger and I are looking forward to more adventures next week!