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Let's Go Outside


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Picture This

Sometimes changes in nature are mere nuance, and it’s nice to be aware of how our environment changes around us as it cycles through seasons. We are so accustomed to our calendar that we often neglect to take notice of the changing calendar outdoors, and take it for granted. It’s spring. It’s summer. It’s fall. It’s winter. Well, INDEED! We should celebrate this cycle of events. Here’s just one fun way to record the seasons and become more aware of what’s around us year round.
Go outside with your child and select an item visible in nature. It might be your home, a hill, or a tree. It simply needs to be a type of visible landmark; something you can see year round. Create a photo journal of the landmark. This activity will require a camera, patience, and time. But the results will be well worth it.
Photograph the landmark by season. Take one photograph from the same spot, same angle, same distance, and same time of day in the springtime. Take another photo from the same spot, the same angle, the same distance, and the same time of day in the summer. Repeat the procedure in the fall, then again in the winter. Once you’ve completed your seasonal photo essay of your landmark, mount or frame the pictures in progression, side by side. Note the similarities and differences and the seasonal nuances as they affect the setting around the landmark.
For a more immediate photo essay, select an item in nature, such as a flower, tree, or shrub, or a landmark. Create a photo essay of it throughout the course of a day, noting how the sun and elements affect its appearance throughout that day. Photograph it from the same spot, same angle, and same distance: in the morning, in the afternoon, at night.

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About the Author

Jennifer Ward is the author of numerous children's books, all of which present nature to kids. Her award-winning titles have been featured in magazines such as Ranger Rick, Your Big Backyard, Learning, and Foreword, and she has been interviewed and featured on national television and local radio. She is a regular speaker at conferences and schools across the country, where she instills the importance of literacy and the wonders waiting to be discovered in the natural world.

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