Signs of Spring - Exploring Nature in Your Neighborhood
Nature is everywhere. Children love learning about and being in nature. This video features exploration of signs of spring in a Nebraska neighborhood. The video celebrates the beauty and wonder of nature, and identifies and describes many aspects of nature that can be found in Midwestern climates.
Concepts and Definitions:
Seasons: the order of seasons, and description of spring
Dormant: Some plants rest during the winter. They may look dead, but they are alive. Much of their sap and energy goes down into their roots. In the spring, the sap and energy move back up through trunks/stems, branches, and leaves
Evergreen: Plants that do not go dormant, and stay green all winter. Pine trees have leaves called needles.
Dormant vs. not dormant: We play a game identifying trees that are dormant and not dormant.
Buds: Plants have buds that are baby leaves and flowers. In the spring, they begin to swell (get larger) and then open as flowers and leaves
Plants need water: rain gives plants a big drink and helps them grow
Shapes: Shapes are described, and we compare the shapes of tulip leaves and daffodil leaves, and describe the different shapes of trees.
Catkins: Long, dangling spring flowers. Bears eat them in Minnesota. They are one of the first available foods for bears in the spring.
Descriptive language: Descriptive language is used in this video, such as colors and textures. Encourage children to describe what they find, and to use multiple senses (sight and sound, and when appropriate touch and taste).
States of matter: Water exists in different states: liquid water, solid ice/snow, and gas/vapor. We observe liquid water, and describe how water is solid ice and snow in the winter, and becomes liquid when it becomes warmer in the spring.
We will continue to explore change over time (anticipating change over time; note – will visit some of the same plants, places in coming episodes)
*Always ask a grownup before going outside
Length: 13:24; for children 2 and up
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[00:00:00.265](upbeat synthesized ensemble music)
[00:00:09.510]I am so happy to see you.
[00:00:11.060]It is a beautiful day and I am gonna
[00:00:13.430]go explore nature in my neighborhood.
[00:00:16.470]Today, I am gonna look for signs of spring.
[00:00:20.060]It's spring here in Nebraska and spring comes after winter.
[00:00:24.890]So we'll be looking for all
[00:00:26.400]different kinds of signs of spring.
[00:00:29.760]Come on, let's have a beautiful day.
[00:00:31.710]It's a sure sign of spring, these are tulips growing.
[00:00:35.930]Can you see how these leaves
[00:00:37.110]are coming up out of the ground?
[00:00:39.490]I planted these last fall.
[00:00:42.530]Do you remember I was just
[00:00:43.740]talking about the seasons in Nebraska?
[00:00:47.230]In the fall, we plant tulip bulbs which are round-
[00:00:51.810]ish seeds that we dig and put in the ground
[00:00:54.870]and then they are there all winter
[00:00:57.440]and when it starts to warm up in the spring,
[00:01:00.190]these leaves push through the ground.
[00:01:03.810]Do you see how these are kind of pointed?
[00:01:06.620]These are tulip leaves, the tops are pointed.
[00:01:12.520]Here are some more tulips.
[00:01:15.240]These look a little bit the same
[00:01:17.780]but there's something different about them.
[00:01:20.360]You see how they don't have the points on the top?
[00:01:24.010]It looks like someone's been eating these tulip leaves.
[00:01:30.760]Who do you think would eat tulips in our neighborhood?
[00:01:37.710]I think it might be bunnies.
[00:01:42.110]Do you have bunnies in your neighborhood?
[00:01:44.450]Let's take a look at some of the trees.
[00:01:47.040]Right now in the spring,
[00:01:49.350]there aren't any leaves on the trees yet.
[00:01:52.350]The leaves fell in the fall.
[00:01:55.240]You might think this tree is not alive,
[00:01:59.410]you might think that this tree died
[00:02:02.590]but really, it's resting.
[00:02:07.380]In the winter, trees go dormant.
[00:02:11.610]That's a really interesting word, can you say "dormant?"
[00:02:15.460]What it means is that the tree is resting
[00:02:18.450]and it's saving its energy for the springtime.
[00:02:23.938]So in the fall,
[00:02:26.150]a lot of the sap from the tree
[00:02:27.600]runs down, down, down into the ground
[00:02:31.210]into the roots and stays warm there and the tree rests
[00:02:36.240]and then in the spring, the sap starts to come back up
[00:02:41.170]through the roots and the trunk of the tree
[00:02:43.750]and into the branches and into the twigs
[00:02:47.630]and it starts to give the leaves energy to grow.
[00:02:51.140]Should we see if there's some leaves starting to grow?
[00:02:54.440]Let's take a look.
[00:02:57.280]I don't see any leaves yet but I do see some buds
[00:03:02.070]and these buds are gonna turn into leaves.
[00:03:05.920]They're starting to get a little bit bigger.
[00:03:07.820]That's called swelling when buds get a little bit bigger.
[00:03:15.270]Let's go look for some more buds.
[00:03:16.810]Found some more buds, these are on a lilac bush
[00:03:21.160]and they are starting to turn green, look.
[00:03:26.560]Can you see these buds?
[00:03:29.500]Those are gonna be soft, green leaves very soon.
[00:03:33.710]These buds are definitely swelling.
[00:03:36.940]Remember what swelling means?
[00:03:39.362]It means the buds are getting bigger.
[00:03:43.410]Here's a bud that's really turning
[00:03:45.030]into a leaf or a cluster of leaves.
[00:03:47.870]This one has actually opened up.
[00:03:52.100]First they swell and then they open up
[00:03:53.573]and you can see these new leaves, isn't that beautiful?
[00:03:59.970]And here's a sign of spring.
[00:04:02.090]These are an early spring flower called crocuses.
[00:04:05.893]These look a little wilty though.
[00:04:08.320]The other day, they were fresh and open
[00:04:10.150]but I think it got a little too cold for them
[00:04:12.980]because right now, there's even some snow.
[00:04:16.370]It snowed last night, so I think that
[00:04:18.713]they got a little bit cold and they shriveled up.
[00:04:21.780]Some more flowers, this is a purple crocus.
[00:04:26.010]It hasn't quite opened yet.
[00:04:28.120]This is in a little warmer spot,
[00:04:29.830]the sun is shining and its protecting it
[00:04:32.710]and there's a yellow crocus
[00:04:36.850]and here are some daffodils.
[00:04:39.900]These have green leaves sort of like the tulips but look,
[00:04:43.570]you can see buds on it that are gonna turn into flowers.
[00:04:49.160]Remember we just looked at some buds that are gonna be
[00:04:51.520]leaves and this one is gonna be a yellow daffodil flower.
[00:04:57.350]Maybe we can find some that are already blooming.
[00:05:00.170]Here I want to show you, these leaves are curved at the top.
[00:05:04.010]They look sort of pointy but these have longer,
[00:05:07.670]skinnier leaves than the tulips and they have this
[00:05:12.770]nice curve at the top which is different than the tulips.
[00:05:16.150]Remember how the tulips were pointed on the top?
[00:05:20.630]That's one of the ways you can tell the difference between
[00:05:23.720]a daffodil and a tulip.
[00:05:27.310]These are daffodils and we can even see
[00:05:30.760]there are some buds in here that are going to be flowers.
[00:05:36.780]In the springtime, the grass starts turning green.
[00:05:39.860]You can see that behind me, there's some green grass
[00:05:43.120]and there's some brownish grass but it's gonna keep getting
[00:05:45.950]greener, especially if it rains because when it rains,
[00:05:51.000]that gives the grass and the trees
[00:05:53.340]and the flowers a big drink of water that helps 'em grow.
[00:05:58.830]Remember when I said that some trees are dormant in
[00:06:01.130]the winter like they're resting, like this one right here?
[00:06:05.220]This tree is dormant, it doesn't have any leaves on it.
[00:06:09.800]Some trees actually aren't dormant in the winter.
[00:06:12.490]They're not resting, like this one over here.
[00:06:16.340]It keeps its leaves all winter.
[00:06:18.400]Maybe you recognize this as an evergreen tree.
[00:06:23.710]This is a white pine.
[00:06:26.340]Its leaves are these soft, silky needles.
[00:06:30.420]This tree stays green all year round,
[00:06:34.570]in the winter, in the spring, in the summer and in the fall.
[00:06:41.000]So you can see this one green any time during the year.
[00:06:50.040]Okay now, you're gonna tell me,
[00:06:52.450]is this tree dormant or is this tree not dormant?
[00:06:59.994]If you said not dormant, you're right because
[00:07:02.570]this is a type of pine tree called the blue spruce
[00:07:06.350]and it has greenish-bluish leaves called needles
[00:07:11.360]that stay green all year long.
[00:07:14.755]Isn't this beautiful?
[00:07:18.330]You can see tiny little buds at the end
[00:07:20.140]that are going to be flowers and then pine cones with seeds.
[00:07:33.110]This tree, is this tree dormant,
[00:07:36.390]resting or is it not dormant?
[00:07:41.217]If you said dormant, you are right.
[00:07:44.410]You can't see any swelling buds on this tree
[00:07:47.400]and there's no leaves on it, so it's resting.
[00:07:50.270]Its sap is down in the roots
[00:07:51.900]in the warm earth waiting to come up.
[00:07:54.390]This bush, do you think this bush
[00:07:57.250]is dormant or do you think it's not dormant?
[00:08:03.920]I don't see any buds on this bush yet that are swelling.
[00:08:08.720]It'll be awhile yet, we'll come back and visit another day.
[00:08:11.626]How about this tree?
[00:08:12.980]Do you think this tree is dormant or not dormant?
[00:08:19.000]If you said not dormant, you're right.
[00:08:21.160]This tree is an evergreen, it has very interesting leaves.
[00:08:27.320]Sort of flat and have an interesting texture to them.
[00:08:33.153]You see how they blow in the wind?
[00:08:36.957]It's a beautiful tree and it's so interesting
[00:08:39.580]to look at the shadow of the tree on the brick wall.
[00:08:49.770]Trees comes in a lot of different shapes.
[00:08:52.560]We saw a tall, skinny tree.
[00:08:55.060]We saw a tree that was sort of a triangle shape
[00:09:01.820]and we saw a bush
[00:09:05.100]and we saw trees
[00:09:06.340]that had branches that reach way up to the sky.
[00:09:11.170]Do you have trees in your neighborhood?
[00:09:15.530]What kinda shapes do the trees in your neighborhood have?
[00:09:20.070]Here's a sign of spring, this is a magnolia bud.
[00:09:22.850]Can you see how soft and fuzzy it is?
[00:09:26.490]It's getting a little bit bigger.
[00:09:28.710]Remember what word we used to call it when buds get bigger?
[00:09:32.920]The buds are swelling, they're getting bigger
[00:09:34.860]'cause they're gonna open up really soon.
[00:09:37.570]In a few weeks, this is gonna open into
[00:09:39.150]a pink flower and we'll come back and visit then.
[00:09:42.950]This is a sure sign of spring.
[00:09:45.330]This is a really funny looking flower
[00:09:48.400]and it has a special name, this is called a catkin
[00:09:51.830]and this is a flower that is one
[00:09:54.670]of the first things to bloom in the spring.
[00:09:57.670]You might be able to find
[00:09:58.620]some of these in your neighborhood.
[00:10:01.400]Up north in Minnesota, bears like to eat catkins
[00:10:05.170]'cause they're one of the first live plants
[00:10:07.860]that are available for food in the spring.
[00:10:11.030]This is just beautiful, look at the color and the texture.
[00:10:16.000]I see green and I see some orange
[00:10:20.560]and this is just beautiful.
[00:10:23.670]There are some buds around the catkins
[00:10:26.140]that are gonna turn into leaves and you can see
[00:10:29.230]that these are swelling a little bit too.
[00:10:31.750]So pretty soon, those are gonna open but for this plant,
[00:10:35.400]the flower comes first and this
[00:10:38.070]is a special flower called a catkin.
[00:10:44.200]This flower is growing out of the wall.
[00:10:50.680]This is sort of a brick retaining wall
[00:10:52.530]but there's just enough soil in there,
[00:10:54.430]can you see there's some soil in there?
[00:10:56.810]For this flower to grow and there's sun
[00:10:58.790]shining here that keeps the stones warm.
[00:11:03.941]They made it warm enough for these
[00:11:05.070]flowers to grow and bloom already today,
[00:11:08.370]even though it's a chilly, chilly day.
[00:11:11.070]Look at those beautiful colors.
[00:11:15.150]Lots of purple.
[00:11:18.350]There's lots of different shades of purple.
[00:11:20.460]This one sometimes people call magenta, can you say magenta?
[00:11:25.920]That's a really fun word.
[00:11:27.410]Another sign of spring, water.
[00:11:31.810]Here in Nebraska, in the winter it's cold
[00:11:34.440]and so when we have water on the ground,
[00:11:37.530]it's frozen ice or maybe snow.
[00:11:42.070]But when it gets warm in the spring,
[00:11:45.191]the snow and ice melt and the water becomes liquid again.
[00:11:52.610]Thank you for exploring nature
[00:11:54.100]in my neighborhood with me today.
[00:11:56.340]I love exploring nature.
[00:11:58.830]Do you remember what kinds of things we saw?
[00:12:01.750]We looked for signs of spring
[00:12:04.269]and we saw some tulips that were coming up,
[00:12:07.820]the leaves and some of the leaves were pointed
[00:12:10.640]and then we found some leaves that somebody
[00:12:13.660]had been eating and we think it might be a bunny rabbit
[00:12:17.170]that ate a little bit of tulip leaves for breakfast.
[00:12:22.150]We saw daffodils
[00:12:24.750]and we saw crocuses
[00:12:27.540]and we saw some buds on trees that were swelling,
[00:12:32.310]getting bigger, getting ready to open
[00:12:33.830]into flowers and leaves and we also found
[00:12:36.810]some buds that had already opened into leaves.
[00:12:42.460]We saw trees that were dormant
[00:12:44.500]and trees that were not dormant
[00:12:48.190]and we saw liquid water that had thawed
[00:12:51.740]from the snow and ice that was here this winter.
[00:12:55.730]We'll keep exploring nature in the neighborhood
[00:12:58.840]and we'll see how things change over time.
[00:13:02.310]If you explore nature in your neighborhood,
[00:13:04.340]be sure to ask a grown-up before you go outside
[00:13:08.900]and always be safe.
[00:13:12.050]It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
[00:13:19.211](upbeat synthesized ensemble music)
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