The British educator, Charlotte Mason, taught the concept of nature studies and keeping of nature notebooks or journals. Nature studies and nature notebooks are the perfect medium for project based and interest led learning. The nature notebooks combine three traditional kinds of record keeping all in one place. This makes nature notebooks a wonderful place to begin learning record keeping.
The Three Traditional Kinds of Record Keeping Found in Nature Notebooks...
Science Lab Book
First, nature studies is a great foundation for natural science. The nature notebook serves as an outdoor science lab book. Great scientists were great observers and data collectors. Many started drawing and diagraming what they observed! Scientists also sought to identify, diagram, and label their observations.
Second, nature studies and nature notebooks are a wonderful segue into Art! Great artists were great observers. Artists kept of sketch books of their observations and learning. They often studied the natural world, experimented, and drew what they saw.
Third, nature studies and nature notebooks are a great segue into literature. Writers are great observers. They often keep detailed notes and discriptitons of things they have observed in the natural world. They craft with words, discriptive poems, and include in their writings, moving passages about the natural world.
A Nature Notebook Combines all Three
A nature notebook has renderings of the world observed by the student. Plants, insects, birds, nests, animals, cells under a micro scope, dissections, night time constellations, clouds, rock formations, and natural things, in their natural habitat, are rendered through the perception of the student. Sometimes they are re-observed in different seasons as they go through changes. Then the objects of observation are identified and labeled. Nature notebooks may include a scripture, poem, or quote from literature that mention that very thing. The Nature Journaler can even include a poem that they have written about their observations. Below I have added blog posts I have written that might be helpful to you in starting a Nature Notebook and including science, art, and literature:
Nature Studies, Nature Notebooks: A Parent Child Journey
How to Create your Own Nature Notebook
Science the Natural Way: Studying God's First Classic
If you have not already done so, consider where science, art, and literature meet, in nature journaling.
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