Nature Study: Harvest Moon
Ooh I like this week. This week we get to look at the Harvest Moon which happens on 1st October.
As you may know, we try to follow along with the Exploring Nature with Children weekly nature curriculum each week, and although I am not so keen on Summer ending, and Autumn bringing in Winter, I must say I do like the harvest time of year. I used to love Harvest Festivals at school, and the idea of sharing your plentiful crops with others. Sometimes there are Harvest Festival events, but I think they have all been cancelled due to covid, but we can still embrace that spirit.
If you want some great Harvest resources, I really like the Send a Cow stuff. I used to be an ambassador for this charity, and I love their educational resources. It helps children learn more about life for families in Africa, and learning about the Harvest there is fascinating I think. You can check out Send A Cow’s Harvest resources here.
Another thing we will be looking at (and possibly also watching the story of Joseph of Egypt or the musical version) is that so many more people have or will need food banks this year due to the economic situation we find ourselves in due to covid, and we ourselves have had our food storage depleted, so we must start building that back up again, so this week is a great opportunity to introduce the concept of food storage to your children, but also I am going to try to cover how we can donate food to food banks this year at the same time as building back up our reserve too.
A couple of weeks ago, the Trussell Trust said that Covid-19 has led to tens of thousands of people needing to use food banks for the first time – almost 100,000, and this winter is really an unknown, because when the furlough scheme ends, many might be made redundant too. I am in the process of writing a blog post about why we aim to have a year’s supply of food and I will share it here when I have finished it.
Anyway, back to the topic for the week
Did you know that every full moon has a name in folklore? This differs between cultures, but here are the names from National Geographic:
Jan – Wolf Moon
Feb – Snow Moon
March – Worm Moon
April – Sprouting grass or pink moon
May – Flower Moon
June – Strawberry Moon
July – Buck Moon or Hay Moon Thunder Moon
Aug – Corn Moon
Sept – Harvest Moon
Oct – Hunter’s Moon
Nov – Frost Moon
Dec – Cold Moon / Long Night’s Moon
In September, we have the Harvest Moon which is the full moon closest to the Autumnal Equinox.
In the past, farmers relied on moonlight to help them harvest the crops, and because many ripen around this time, it makes it a very busy time for them, and so they needed to work later, and harvest moon became essential in farming to help farmers see what they were doing.
Did you know?
The Moon normally rises about 50 minutes later each day (I was surprised at that!), but nearing the Autumnal Equinox it is only 30 minutes. Around the Harvest Moon, the Moon rises at around the same time over several days at sunset. The Moon appears a lot lower and is brighter, warmer and bigger! This is called the Moon Illusion! We are going to enjoy our dusk walk to go out and see it this week! I will post pics of our adventure on my Insta stories and here next week so you can have a look.
The books we are going to read this week are:
We are going to attempt to write haikus for this week’s extension exercise. We haven’t done that before, so it will be interesting to see how the children tackle it! I found this really cool Haiku worksheet on BBC Bitesize from Twinkl
Last week we did some work on syllables in preparation for actually knowing what a syllable was. I will let you know how we got on!
Time to download your poem and artwork for this week
This week’s poem is The Harvest Moon by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and the artwork is The Harvest Moon by George Mason. You can download my beautifully illustrated Harvest Moon poem and the picture here or click the image below..