Keeping a Nature Journal is a fundamental Nature Detectives practice that blends the disciplines of art, science and literacy and reinforces building observation skills. Complexity of documentation, including drawing, recording data, and writing descriptions and/or key words will depend on both the level of student engagement and their individual literacy and artistic skills. There is no “one right way” or “mistakes.” Each child’s artistic expression is unique. Link here to view a video of student Nature Discovery Journals.
Students design the cover of their Nature Journal on this first day of class. They use Nature Discovery Journals to ease into studying core concepts of the natural world. The Journals gives them a place where they can express themselves, feel safe, have fun, develop new skills and document what they observe nature in ways they probably have not done before.
We reinforce the concept that Nature Journals are a scientist’s tool and may contribute to scientific research and conservation efforts. They continue to be a technique to scaffold to the next higher level of learning.