The Look About You Nature Books by Thomas W. Hoare are designed to be practical guides and readers aimed at younger children to take advantage of their curiosity to help them understand the living things around them. Three books in the series are available as free downloads!
Every lesson herein set down has, during the author’s many years’ experience in teaching Nature Study, been taught by observation and practice again and again; and each time with satisfactory result. The materials required for the lessons are within everybody’s reach.
There is nothing that appeals to the heart of the ordinary child like living things, be they animal or vegetable, and there is no branch of education at the present day that bears, in the young mind, such excellent fruit as the study of the simple, living things around us.
Your child is nothing if not curious. He wants to understand everything that lives in his bright little world.
Nature Study involves so many ingenious little deductions, that the reasoning powers are almost constantly employed, and intelligence grows proportionately. The child’s powers of observation are stimulated, and his memory is cultivated in the way most pleasing to his inquiring nature. By drawing his specimens, no matter how roughly or rapidly, his eye is trained more thoroughly than any amount of enforced copying of stiff, uninteresting models of prisms, cones, etc., ever could train it.
The books provide nature study lessons in story form with questions and exercises following. Please note: some of the experiments will require adult supervision. In some cases, you’ll also find helpful teacher hints in the Appendix.
At the current time, Books 2–4 are available in the public domain. And a note for U.S. readers, you may want to substitute beavers for weasels, and American birds for British.
The books cover the following material:
Book No. 2:
- How plants take food from the soil.
- Weasels and otters.
- Sea birds.
- Frost and dew.
Book No. 3:
- Birds in winter.
- Seed eaters vs. insect eaters.
- Flower buds.
- How plants grow.
- Pond life.
- Underground stems.
- Caterpillars and butterflies.
Book No. 4:
- Composite flowers.
- Bird nests.
- Seed dispersion.
- There are 38 total lessons. By covering one lesson each week, you will have enough material for a school year.
- Another option is to go slower and cover one book per semester.
- There are many ways the material can be covered. One suggestion is to:
- Read the story on one day along with a narration.
- Use 2 or 3 days depending on your schedule for the experiments and questions.
- If you have more time and can provide five days, you’ll find many rabbit trails that can be pursued.
- Create a notebook for each book.
- For each experiment, create a scientific method notebooking page to add to your notebook.
- The discussion questions provided make excellent narration prompts. These can be written or oral depending on the age of your child.
- The black-and-white illustrations can be pasted on Drawing & Writing paper or used as the basis for illustrating a concept.
- In most cases, our search engine will help you find go-alongs for the lesson topic.