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John Muir: 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 (i.e. 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!, up to page 81.

Outdoor activity

Begin by completing the handout from The Woodland Trust Leaf Hunt(this will open in a new window). This activity should ideally be completed as a school trip to a wood located near your school. Print this activity sheet for your class to complete while in your local woodland.

Back in the classroom

Once your pupils have discovered as many leaves as possible, back in the classroom go through their answers to see how many new leaves they found. Your pupils will then need access to computers to complete the Woodland Trust’s Autumn Leaf Identification Quiz(this will open in a new window).

Then go to the OPAL Explore Nature website and complete the minibeasts survey(this will open in a new window). How many do your class know?

Print the Nature Detectives worksheet and make sure all your pupils note down their answers to complete the activity.

Once they have completed all the quiz activities they can create their own nature quiz using one of these themes:

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

Reflecting on learning

Had your pupils considered how much they already knew about nature, and that by sharing their knowledge with each other they can learn even more?

Learners can:

Useful resources

You can provide information about birds and fungi using these links:

You can also print and circulate the downloadable woodland animal facts sheet made by Scholastic.