Part of our science curriculum this year includes nature studies.
Nature studies are simple, relaxed studies of things in nature (a quick google search will give you all the info you need about them). The best part is you can go as deep as you want
For our nature studies, I decided to begin with a few supplies:
- nature study tote (I made ours, but any tote or backpack will do)
- Pencil Box
- Prismacolor Pencil Sharpener
- Ebony Graphite Pencil
- Watercolor Pencil Set
- Mixed Media Book large
- Mixed Media Book small
- Magic Rub Eraser
I could have bought cheaper supplies and the kids would have been just as thrilled, but I think Lexie is ready to learn how to be more responsible with nice art supplies so I went ahead and got the good stuff. To begin our nature study we just pick a topic; as of right now we are using the topic that goes along with our lesson from Elemental Science.
First, we read a bit about the topic we will be studying. Then we take our totes full of our supplies and head out for the study. We do a nature walk until we find just what we are looking for, once we find it we begin observing and writing in our nature journals.
In the journal you can write questions you have, things you see, what you like, what is around you, etc. The possibilities are really endless.
You can collect things from your study to add into your journal (leaves, pins from pine trees, flowers to press, petals, pictures, etc). We have only done one real nature study and since it was our first we just drew a picture of what we saw into the mixed media book using the watercolor pencils and the ebony pencil. You can use anything you would like; I am not sure if we will keep our pages in the mixed media book or if we will pull them out and place in a binder so we can add extra pages and more bulky things to the journal as we go.
After exploring outside, we came back in and studied more about the particular tree we had been observing; we would do the same with any bug, flower, etc. I plan to gather info on our nature studies before hand so I can print lapbooks and journal pages that go with the theme; it will take a bit more planning on my end but will be well worth it!
And that was it! As we go more in depth and really get the hang of the nature study I will share more pictures and details.