Smithsonian Nature Journal Instruction {Free}

Free nature journal instruction from the Smithsonian. If you are ready to try nature journaling, you might enjoy this free 16-page download, Introduction to the Nature Journal, that instructs students in how to record their observations of stationary and moving things in nature.

Students begin by learning about how professionals use journals in their work — such as horticulturists, conservators, ornithologists, zookeepers, and anthropologists.  This background information provides an idea of the different ways a natural journal can be used, and the different types of information that might be recorded.

Next, students analyze a scientist’s field journal, picking up ideas for how they will design their own nature journal — what objects to include, how to write detailed and descriptive observations, noting exact locations and times, incorporating photographs of specimens, adding personal thoughts and questions, and not being afraid to note something they don’t understand.

Write about anything of interest that happens on an outing. Record the names of the people you work with or meet. Try to capture the general “flavor” of the place: sights, sounds, smells, what you had for lunch. It’s amazing what comes in handy later, if you decide to write a book on the subject!

What follow are two lessons that include step-by-step instructions for writing vivid and concise descriptions and making illustrations.

A beautiful nature journal notebooking page is included that can be printed for use.

Sometimes we avoid jumping into something new when we have concerns about “doing it right.”  Of course, the best way to learn something new is to jump in!  And this free download will help you steer a straight course.

Nature Study Resources

10 Ideas for Nature Study
More ideas to get you started.

Free Nature Studies: Our Wonderful World

Free Nature Studies: Our Wonderful World
Try out your new nature journal skills on our free nature study!

Keeping a Nature Journal

Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie
Mentioned in the download, Keeping a Nature Journal has been a longtime favorite in our home.  Subtitled Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You, this Storey Publishing title is really like a nature journal on its own.  So many wonderful ideas, tips, and examples for drawing, journaling, and recording nature.  Simply thumbing through our copy is motivating!  Consider making it a “coffee-table book,” placing it where the young naturalist in your home will find it and come away inspired!

Pocketful of Pinecones

Pocketful of Pinecones by Karen Andreola
An engaging storyline serves as a framework for the book’s broader appeal as a “how-to” for nature study — nature journaling in action.  Read our entire review.

Printables & Notebooking Pages
10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #8 Nature

10 Ways to Use Notebooking: #8 Nature
Lots of suggestions, resources, and downloads — including notebook pages.

Nature Journal Notebooking Sets {Free Download}

Nature Journal Notebooking Sets {Free Download}
Simple pages for creating your own nature journal.

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