Journaling in Nature: Journaling to Improve Observation and Reflection

byChristopher Snyder

This unit is built around a repeated, regular practice of Nature Journaling as a means for students to improve observation and reflection as well as to develop their affinity for nature.  The unit will emphasize the importance of slowing down and of regularity and routine as students return to "sit-spots" in the school's well-maintained urban garden and to possible locations in a nearby public park.  In the course of the unit, we will be learning the process of journaling along with learning new and refined writing and drawing skills, with equal emphasis on verbal and visual expression. Students will be working over a six to eight-week period to create, reflect upon, and revise their journals as we go. We will be following a strict framework but one that allows a great deal of artistic freedom for the students (and myself) inside that framework. Students will be journaling during at least part of every class for those first six to eight weeks of school.  I am looking forward to seeing how this process will positively impact student learning and retention, along with providing a fun and memorable experience for my students.

(Developed for Visual Art, grades 4-5; recommended for ELA, grades 4-5, and Visual Art, grades 3-12)

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