Monday, September 17, 2012

Autumn copywork, pressing leaves, and preserving spiderwebs

We have been very focused on the changes going on in nature right now. The nights are getting colder and the days are getting shorter quickly. It is very clearly almost fall.


Logan got his first taste of copywork today.  We copied a Waldorf poem onto watercolor paper and he wanted to be included… so I had him write the last lines on his watercolor sheet.  I think he did a fantastic job!


Here was Cyan’s copy work.  Her painting and her handwriting were just lovely.  They both are on the nature table now.  I knew it wouldn’t stay empty for long!

Today for Kindergarten science we pressed leaves! As we went on our nature walk he found fallen leaves and brought them in to press.


He loved the ones that still had green on them because they were ‘pretty’.


Then, along with the siblings, we preserved spiderwebs!  First, we went on a spiderweb hunt around the yard.  The best ones were found on the rhododendron bushes in the back of the yard.  They were still complete, even though there was no spider in them. 


Most garden spiders build a new web every night, so I didn’t feel bad about taking the three that we had found as it won’t take the spider long to build a new one.  I was careful, however, not to spray paint a web with a spider in it. 


The two we found with spiders sitting in the center of their webs we left alone, but we spent some time observing the spiders that lived there, and noting their brown and yellow markings (making them a type of ‘garden spider’).

I preserved the web by holding up some cardboard behind the empty spiderweb and spray painting (very gently and from over a foot away) the web.  I took about 20 minutes to let that dry.  Then I sprayed a sheet of cardstock with Elmer’s spray glue and waited until it was good and ‘tacky’.  Then I slid the cardstock behind the painted web, and gently pulled it forward until the web was stuck to the sheet of paper and this is what I ended up with:


We did two, and although you can see the color on the black sheet better in photos, I like the detail you can see clearly on the white sheet… which doesn’t show up in pictures as well, but is quite amazing in person!  We added these to sleeves in the kids nature notebooks after some fun up close observation and now they will have a spiders web to study at will!


It was a neat project to do after yesterday’s school project of reading about spiders and trying to make our own webs!

_MG_9517-001  _MG_9523-001

What a fun and awesome school day!


Lisa said...

what an amazing day!! i have always wanted to preserve webs like that. you have inspired me! we are noticing autumn all around us. this morning we collected leaves on our walk.
have a great week

Val in the Rose Garden said...

Thank you, Lisa! It was a great day! Since then the kids have been coming in from their play time outside to let me know if they find any spiderless webs. I have two more - green on black and red on white. Both showed up better than the blue paint. So I suggest bright colored spray paint if you do this project! Good luck!