Nature Detectives

Nature Detectives

Nature Detectives


Subject area: 
Literacy, Sciences

Experiences and Outcomes:
Lit 3 – 14a, SCN 3 – 01a

The aim of this lesson is, in the spirit of John Muir, for your pupils to share what they already know about woodlands with others in their class (ie. this will test their own knowledge as well as other pupils) and it will also enable them to discover and share new findings too.

Before you begin ask your class to look through the John Muir graphic novel and read the section The Mountains are Calling Me that describes how John Muir:

‘…discovered that the clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.

John Muir: I never saw a discontented tree.

John Muir: Trees travel as far as we do, wandering in all directions with every wind, travelling with us around the sun, two million miles a day! And through space, heaven knows how fast and far... wheee!’

Outdoor Activity

Begin by completing the hand out from the Woodland Trust – The Leaf Hunt. This activity should ideally be completed as a school trip to a wood located near your school. Print this activity sheet for them to complete while in your local woodland.

Back in the Classroom

Once they have discovered as many leaves as possible back in the class room print and circulate The Leaf Hunt answer sheet to see how many new leaves they found. Your pupils will then need access to computers to complete this activity. First ensure all your pupils are logged into the Woodland Trust’s Nature Detectives quiz ‘Leaves’.

Once they have completed the ‘Leaves’ quiz, instruct them to return to the Woodland Trust’s Nature Detectives activity quiz pages and complete the quiz about ‘Seeds’.

Then go back to the Woodland Trust’s Nature Detectives activity quiz pages and complete the quiz about ‘Twigs’

Finally, go back to the Woodland Trust’s Nature Detectives activity quiz pages and complete the quiz about ‘Mini beasts’.

How many did they know? Print the Nature Detectives Pupil Activity Worksheet and make sure all your pupils note down their answers to complete the activity. Check that they include the answers they already knew, as well as any new information they discovered by taking part in each quiz.

Once they have completed all the quiz activities they are to create their own ‘nature quiz’ using one of the above themes:

  • trees (including seeds, twigs and leaves) 
  • mini beasts 
  • or create a new theme using birds, fungi or woodland animals.

When they have created their individual quiz they should try it out each other.

Background/ useful resources

You can provide information about birds and fungi, from the following web sites:

The Woodland Trust – Birds

Wild About Britain - Fungi

Print and circulate these woodland animal facts support notes

Reflecting on Learning

Had the learners considered how much they already knew about nature and that by sharing their knowledge with each other they can learn even more!

Learners can:

  • Research information about leaves, twigs, seeds, fungi, woodland creatures
  • Create a quiz to find out about what others know about all of the above