Fifth Grade Botany: Learning Outdoors


Back in the fall, Lucas’s fifth grade class at Waldorf school started a main lesson block on botany. They have revisited the subject since then and are enjoying another botany block now, but I just rediscovered these photos that Lucas took on a field trip to Big Trees State Park in Calaveras county.


They rode with parent chauffeurs the three-hour trip to Calaveras county. I think they stopped for a picnic lunch on the way.


This state park is one of the few giant old-growth redwood groves left. The trees are so big they don’t fit in the frame, and these are the little ones. These photos are some of the best shots that Lucas took with an old digital camera of mine that hadn’t worked in years. For some miraculous reason, it decided to operate for this trip. (It hasn’t worked since then, though. Go figure!)


Forest dogwood burning in the autumn light.



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It’s interesting to me to see what Lucas photographed. There are lots of too-blurry images and goofy pics of friends clowning around, of course. They spent some time in the visitors’ center as well as on the trail, listening to a tour guide tell them about the giant redwoods, and how the forest was exploited by loggers before it became protected.




I’m so grateful he has amazing learning opportunities like these.


In his current block he’s studying conifers and monocotyledon and dicotyledon plants. (These whopper words are on his spelling list for the week, along with cruciferous, anemophilous, sulphur, and taproot!) Last week his fifth-grade class visited the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory and looked at a huge collection of plants,  including carnivorous plants, cacti, tropical vines and their many pollinators. I’m told it was a wonderful field trip. At school they have the adjacent woods to explore and study, and the school farm and orchard as their classrooms.

I may have to pop in to see Lucas’s botany main lesson book. I’m totally curious.

2 Responses to “Fifth Grade Botany: Learning Outdoors”

  • heathermama
    April 18, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    beautiful photographs. what a great way to spend a day.


    • Sara
      April 25, 2013 at 1:52 pm

      Oh yes. I think they enjoyed it completely. Any day that class is held outdoors is a good day, right? xo


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    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

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