MESS: Experience 1 – What is Nature?

September 24 – September 30

Marvelous Explorations Through Science and Stories: MESS is a science-centered early childhood curriculum enhancement. Each unit includes field-tested science experiences, suggestions for ways to integrate each topic across the curriculum, lists of recommended books and science materials, and ideas for involving families in children’s learning at home and in other settings.

Here is this week’s MESS-inspired curriculum for Crown Hill Explorers’ Nature-Based 3s class.

Experience 1: What Is Nature?


Children will observe some of the elements of the natural world.


  • collection of natural items such as rocks, leaves, pinecones, feathers, and small animals (our snails, roly-poly bugs, spiders as well as our collection of animal specimens in resin squares)
  • specimen containers
  • clipboard with paper and pencil, camera, and magnifying tools


biodiversity – the variety of life on Earth

habitat – the natural area where something lives; it provides for all of the living thing’s needs (e.g., food, shelter, air, water)

interdependence – the complex web of interactions among living things

predator – an animal that eats another animal

prey – an animal that is eaten by another animal

resource – material that provides support or sustains a system (e.g., food, air, water, gas, wood, etc.)