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Y2: Birds & Bees

Today was so busy... there was so much going on, as usual with this wonderful class.

I started things off by showing the chidlren the dragonfly nymph shell and whole dragonfly skeleton kindly given to us by the Eweleme Estate. It was lovely to have this to show the children as an extension to what they have been finding in the pond. They noticed that the nymph shell was bigger than the creature they had found in the pond previously, so after circle time they got out the ID sheets, a ruler and the pond dipping kit ready to find and measure what they thought was a dragonfly nymph, or could it be a damselfly?

Sullivan and Eloise found one in the pond correctly identified it, noticing that it was smaller but probably not fully grown yet. A damselfly nymph has 2 'tails' apparently... this one has a pity bottom.

I also showed the children the body of a barn owl that we had found over the weekend, probably hit by a car. The body was intact, so not gruesome at all, and was a wonderful thing to show them. The children studied how the wings opened, what the feathers looked like on the wings, fave and body and discussed why the barn owl is such an amazing hunter. I had a few other bird feathers so asked them to work out what type of feathers they were (wing, body, tail) and which side of the body they came from.... a fascinating piece of investigating!

After our circle time the children went off to play... they was a huge bit of den constructing going on, some potion making and some 'hapa zome' - Japanese bashing art - which they really enjoyed.

Honey tasting... at the start I had also told the children about some honey I harvested over the weekend, and had a few different honeys for them to try. We tried 4 different types of honey - Yorkshire blossom, Yorkshire Heather, Eweleme Park honey and some set honey from my father. This was a great activity as I dont think many of them had seen 'set' honey before, and seemed to think it was gone off.

As I set up the tasting table with the help of some of the children, I heard a lot of "eugh, I'm not having that one, I don't like it" before they had even tried it. I explained it was my favourite so was very happy to take the full jar back home! After they had all tasted the various honeys, we had a chat about which one they liked best, and how honey is made/why they taste different. Unsurprisingly to me, the set honey was the winner!

I also showed the children some honey comb... and it was as if I had opened a bag of haribo - they all wanted to eat it. We looked at the shape of the cells in the comb, and the angles that the bees make it - between 9 and 13 degrees, so that the brood or honey doesnt fall out before it is capped. How interesting! Aren't bees clever. We also talked about one teaspoon of honey being a whole life work for one bee, so never ever waste honey!

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