Age: K-6th Grade, 7th to adult. Adapt observations to age level, e.g. Elementary students can be asked to point out seeds, while high school students can be asked to point out evidence of seed dispersal adaptations.
Background Information: Though it may be difficult to come across animals out in nature, you can find animal signs wherever you go. Teaching kids to identify animal signs is a good observational exercise as is identifying different kinds of seeds, leaves, flowers, etc.
Discussion: Discuss their findings and help them see what other things they are missing. Encourage them to observe things more closely and ask questions about that they are seeing.
Things to add to the box broken down into three educational categories.
Find the Different Animals Signs:
1) snail shell
2) chewed acorn
2) chewed black walnut
4) stripped pine cone
5) goldenrod gall
6) porcupine quill
8) wasp nest
9) drilled bark
Find the Different Kinds of Seeds:
2) black walnut
3) maple seeds
4) white pine cone (large cone)
5) hemlock cone (medium-sized cone)
6) spruce cone (small cone)
7) Alder cones (tiny cones)
8) flower head
Find the Different Plant Parts:
1) spruce branch
4) golden rod stem
5) flower heads
6) tree leaves
7) conifer cones