This week, we’re sharing a few volumes from the “Look About You” nature study series written by Thomas W. Hoare, an English nature study teacher in the early 1900s. These stories follow the activities of an uncle and his nieces and nephews as they explore the countryside and farm and really begin to pay attention to all the wonders of nature surrounding them. Each short chapter ends with some “hands on” experiment or activity for children, related to the topic. These books are exceptionally well done, are great for primary age nature study, and have great illustrations to boot. We highly recommend you check them out!
From the series introduction:
This little book should be used as a simple guide to the practical study of Nature rather than as a mere reader.
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 love of flowers and animals is one of the most commendable traits in the disposition of the wondering child, and ought to be encouraged above all others. A few lessons on Nature Phenomena are added.
It is the author’s fondest and most sanguine hope that his little pupils may study further the great book of Nature, whose broad pages are ever open to us, and whose silent answers to our manifold questions are never very difficult to read.
Today’s book is Volume 2. Topics include: Sowing Seeds – the Life of a Plant – Country Walks – Rabbits – Gulls – Spiders – Ants – and Grasshoppers.
This book can be viewed and read online, or can be downloaded as kindle or epub ebooks.