Monday, February 17, 2014

Our Nature Notebooks

I have been following along with the posts at Wildflowers and Marbles, where the book The Living Page is being discussed.  It is all about keeping notebooks, a subject near and dear to my heart!  Those who knew me as a child might recall that I had various notebooks, diaries, and scrapbooks in which I recorded things.  I am hoping to jump into the book once it arrives in the mail!  For now, as nature notebooks are being discussed, I thought I would share some of our nature notebook entries and some brief notes on our nature study as part of our learning at home.

For more on how we do nature study, see this post in which I muse on whether our approach to science in the elementary years is really "enough."

First some images from my 3rd grader's notebook (click on any of these images to see them larger):

ladybugs - she tried to note their actual size versus the enlarged size at which she drew them (makes me think of the phrase "enlarged to show texture," ha)

squirrels - here she has tied in a character named Happy Jack from one of our favorite nature story series, The Burgess Animal Book for Children

salamander and "the biggest slug ever found" making their appearances in December... that is what happens when you live in Georgia, ha.  We have no true winter!  Her enthusiasm is clearly shown in her "Go Bugs" pennant... random...


birds... always a favorite subject with us

This was the result when I asked her to try to draw a bird she saw larger than usual to really focus on the details of the pattern and colors

Some pages from my Kindergartener's notebook... some are from last year too, when she was 4-5 years old:

bradford pear tree in fall

a squirrel

This one was also pictured in the post I linked to above, but I love it so much because of how realistic the baby mockingbird looks, and the attempted preschool spelling is adorable!

a marigold bloom from our garden

maple leaf in the fall

these are some blooms and petals from a bouquet of flowers received after a dance recital... she spent probably a half hour on this page!

chipping sparrow on the feeder outside our window

We are also working on keeping a lifetime nature list in a small binder... we have a calendar list of firsts which we can add to each year where we record things like the first snowfall of the season, the first daffodil bud spotted, the first ripe fig...

Also in this binder are lists of birds, mammals, trees, flowers, etc.  We can write down any new species we see and any details about it:

I can see these being things that each child might want her own copy of one day... hmm...

So that is a peek at our nature notebooks lately.  I am not sure where this will take us in the future, but I love the way it has started out and seeing how it blossoms!

Linking up!
Wildflowers and Marbles

If you use any kind of nature notebooks to record observations, I would love to hear how in the comments! :)


Celeste said...

Love the pictures of your children's nature journals, Erin! And I love the comedy--Happy Jack and the Biggest Slug Ever Found. Too sweet. :) And that baby mockingbird really is fantastic, as are the chipping sparrows. My kids love drawing birds too. :)

jenmack said...

What wonderful examples of nature notebooks, Erin! I love the "Go Bugs" pendant - and that chipping sparrow is wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing all of these great examples of your children's nature notebooks - they're truly inspiring!