12.16.2014

Nature Journaling at School

For the past seven weeks, I've been spending Thursday afternoons nature journaling with my oldest daughter's classmates. Their small Montessori school offers an abundance of natural spaces to explore, including a trail through the woods, a sun-drenched lake, fields with tall grasses gone to seed, and peaceful shady areas right outside their classroom doors. We've discovered them all.
It's been my true pleasure to guide these eager-to-learn children through the basics of observing nature (use all your senses!), as well recording their observations on the blank page (write, draw, create, express!). They've explored seeds & seed vessels; collected fallen leaves; followed animal tracks; and gathered lichen-covered sticks, colorful mushrooms, wild grapefruit, and even a large animal bone!
Week by week, these budding naturalists have written haikus, made field notes & lists, rubbed leaves, sketched objects & scenes, stamped with harvest vegetables & fruits, created nature collages, and explored with color.
And all along the way, we've discussed how keeping a nature journal can help one foster mindfulness, practice gratitude, and express their creativity.
This week, we're wrapping it up, completing any unfinished pages and "binding" the journals with found sticks. Each book will have a few blank pages added in to the back in the hope that the kids will keep journaling even after our workshop has ended. I'm so proud of their work, and truly honored to have shared this special time together!

3 comments:

Betsy said...

Oh, I love this! How special! I would love to do this with my daughter when she is a litter older. (She's only in preschool now!) Thanks for the inspiration.

Liz Sniegocki said...

Thank you Betsy! Apple stamping and leaf rubbing is a great place to start with preschoolers. And my gals loved picking one subject to observe -like birds or bugs - when they were that age. They would draw pictures and make up stories for me to write down. Have fun!

Linda said...

Very nice! Happy New Year.