Saturday, August 21, 2010

Nature Walks...

A reader recently asked about journals for Nature Walks.  I put together this Nature Journal for her girls to use on their walks.

Ages: Kids should be able to write or draw their observations without frustration.  Otherwise, just enjoy your walk without journaling.

Materials: Consider binoculars, hand lenses or cameras.  All these tools help Kid Scientists focus their observations on something specific and will give them more to write or draw.

Procedure:  Nature Walks can be as simple as a walk through your neighborhood or as involved as a day trip to a new location.  Having a specific focus for Kid Scientists will enhance what they are observing on their walk.
  • Look for as many different trees as you can find.  Gather fallen leaves as evidence of their difference or make rubbings of different types of bark.
  • Look for as many different wild flowers as you can find.  This is a good one for digital cameras so that walkers who come along after you can also enjoy the flowers.
  • How many different animal signs can you find?  This would include nests, feathers, tracks, scat etc.
  • How many different noises do you hear?  Can you tell which ones are natural and which ones are man-made?
  • What can you see that is living?  What is not living? Why are both important?
  • Check out this post for more nature walk ideas
Make sure you have a sense of what they will see and hear before you set their specific focus.

The Nature Journal can be printed out, folded and turned into a book that Kid Scientists add to over several different excursions.  I like using the Notice / Wonder format because it encourages your Kid Scientist to discover what they think is important and to think about what they are seeing or hearing.  The Wonders  can also lead to future nature walks or research at home. 

How do your Kid Scientists explore Nature?

2 Science Moms have commented...:

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Mary said...

I just found your blog and am your new follower. I like your suggestions for nature journaling. We've been making these journals for years, and I'm always looking for new ideas. I'll be hosting a linky list about nature journals in a couple of weeks, I hope you join!

I'll be back. :)