Life Science

Nature Journaling

Mon Mar 26, 2012 9:05 PM

Hi everyone!

I am looking for nature journaling resources for middle-schoolers. Spring is here, and we just transitioned from animal to plant kingdom. We have an outdoor classroom/garden where most plants are now budding, and the kids created their own journals from art class earlier this year. I'd love for them to put those journals and garden to use! My plan was to have students go out a few minutes in the afternoon to observe plants, and see how they change and grow over time...

Anyways, this will be my first time attempting something like this so I'd appreciate tips and advice from anyone who's done this before with their classes. Also, I'd like to tie in student reflections with their observations and drawings. Any ideas on prompts, or writing activities to tie in with nature journaling?


Cheska Robinson
Cheska Lorena

Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:45 PM

One of the articles that I found is for elementary students, but there may be some activities that could be modified for middle schoolers, Cheska. The article is called
Nature Detectives
Here is another article specifically for middle schoolers:
Science Sampler: Field Journals—Bringing the past to life
and this one:
Drawing on Nature
This last article is for highschool ELL students, but I think it might have some applications for middle schoolers, too:
Schoolyard Inquiry for English Language Learners
I hope you find one or two helpful ideas.

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr

Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:16 AM

Cheska, that a great idea of having a classroom garden even for the middle schoolers. I always wanted to start a classroom garden but was unsure of what plants to use that would grow consistently over time that the students would see.

Thanks, Carolyn for the ELL article it was very enlightening and insightful because at are school more then half the student body are ELL or ESL.

Helen Hicks
Helen Hicks

Sat Mar 31, 2012 9:46 PM

Thanks for the articles, Carolyn! :)

Cheska Robinson
Cheska Lorena

Sun Apr 01, 2012 11:43 AM

When possible, I have students put in actual samples of what they are observing then write their observations and label their samples. We talk about respecting property, permission to use samples and not touching anything if we are not sure what it is. I teach the kids to put the date, time, place, weather on each observation page then separate the page into 2 columns, quantitative and qualitative observations.

Joachim Huber
Joachim Huber

Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:55 PM

Project Budbursthas some excellent resources, including this Field Journal. The site also has a place to upload and querry data.

Patty McGinnis
Patricia McGinnis

Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:05 PM

Thanks for the websites. I'm always looking for more journaling ideas.

Joachim Huber
Joachim Huber

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