This morning, Shan met us in the science lab with a wonderful activity. She modified a lesson from Project Wild, a resource for teachers of young children in the area of nature and science. Shan taught us about what is found in a habitat - food, water, shelter, and space.
Groups of children then got a map of our school and outdoor areas, and had to add a key with four different colors. One group got a bird map, one group got a deer map, and one got a groundhog map. We talked about what foods each animal liked to eat, how much space they needed, and where they would naturally find shelter.
Then we took our maps outside to mark our maps (using the colors we selected for the key). A blue dot may indicate a place where our animal got water, for example. Using our "nature eyes", children really had to think and see like the animal they were given.
This is my favorite type of activity, because it encompasses much more than just one "topic". We did some simple mapping, science exploration, writing, teamwork, and outside time.