Meaningful Expeiences with Nature

A great extension to Earth Day or recycling activities is to keep a nature journal. They don't have to be formal or fancy to inspire students to think about their surroundings.

Artistic Tools

Encourage your students to capture their surroundings with artwork. Additionally, invite them to explore different tools when reproducing the scene around them. A few suggestions include: - Pencil
- Pen
- Watercolor pencils
- Charcoal pencils
- Colored pencils
- Crayola oil pastels
- Markers

Drawing Elements

Invite your students to have a purpose when drawing nature. If they're journaling inside, have them seek out where sunlight is entering and reproduce the objects that its rays are resting on. Most of your students will have pets or neighbors with pets. Invite them to draw the animal in segments (i.e. start with the eyes, next draw paws, etc.) If they practice smaller parts, studying the details, they'll have an easier time when you ask them to draw the entire animal.

For more drawing elements and some inspiring writing prompts to include in your nature journal assignment, be sure to check out Susan Caplan's article at Suite 101.

Nature Journaling Exercises and Activities for All Ages