How to Teach Nature Journaling: Curiosity, Wonder, Attention

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31 hands-on field activities to connect art, science, math, and critical thinking, while encouraging students and mentors alike to recognize and record the wonder and beauty in the natural world.

Expanding on the philosophy and methods of The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, John Muir Laws and Emilie Lygren have developed the first-ever comprehensive book devoted to helping educators use nature journaling as an inspiring teaching tool to engage young people with wild places.

In their workshops Laws and Lygren are often asked the how-tos of teaching nature journaling: how to manage student groups in the outdoors, teach drawing skills (especially from those who profess to have none), connect journaling to educational standards, and incorporate journaling into longer lessons. This book puts together curriculum plans, advice, and in-the-field experience so that educators of all stripes can leap into journaling with their students.

The approaches are designed to work in a range of ecosystems and settings, and are suitable for classroom teachers, outdoor educators, camp counselors, and homeschooling parents. Full-color illustrations and sample journal pages from notable naturalists show how to put each lesson into practice.

Field-tested by over a hundred educators, this book includes dozens of activities that easily support The Common Core and The Next Generation Science Standards—and, just as important, that will show kids and mentors alike how to recognize the wonder and intrigue in their midst.

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ISBN-13 # 978-1597144902

ISBN-10# 1597144908

288 Pages

Paperback

8.5 x 11, with full-color illustrations throughout, 

Learn How to:

  • give students step-by-step strategies for effective nature journaling
  • manage student groups in the outdoors
  • encourage participation from all learners
  • modify instructions to meet your students’ needs
  • teach drawing, math, writing, and scientific thinking
  • connect journaling to educational standards
  • incorporate journaling into longer lessons

Reviews: 

“From the beginning of time, we have been connected to nature, but for the first time in history, that connection threatens to be broken for most of an entire generation and perhaps generations to come. In this book and this work, I find hope. Laws and Lygren have created a powerful and practical resource for teachers to help children and adults discover, explore, love, and protect the natural world around them. Nature is magic, and everyone needs it.”

–Robert Bateman, artist, naturalist, and founder of the Bateman Foundation

“Here is a natural way for parents and teachers to integrate the beauty and mystery of nature into the lives of children. The book itself is a work of art.”

—Richard Louv, author of Our Wild Calling and Last Child in the Woods

“This book beautifully demonstrates how nature journaling is a valuable, multidimensional approach to science. Through this work, students build neural pathways that enable different brain regions to communicate with each other, resulting in more flexible thinking and creative problem-solving in all areas of life. This approach to nature journaling also offers students an excellent way to learn and practice a growth mindset through nature and science.”

—Jo Boaler, Professor of Education and Equity, Stanford University; founder and faculty director of youcubed.org; author of Mathematical Mindsets and Limitless Mind

“The writing, the illustrations, the demonstration of an intentional, informative, and wonderfully educational approach to nature journal writing—it’s all here. From field activities with clear examples to an inquiry-based approach to learning, this book is a gem for educators, first-time journalers, and for the experienced naturalist as well. It’s art, it’s writing, it’s education, it’s science, naturally so.”

—José González, Founder of Latino Outdoors

“Engaging students in learning about nature is a compelling need in these turbulent times. Just as important is communicating clearly, precisely, and truthfully. Naturalists and educators John Muir Laws and Emilie Lygren help teachers achieve these goals with How to Teach Nature Journaling. This is a wonderful response to educators’ request for meaningful ways to implement contemporary standards. The book is useful, full of activities, and manageable for classroom teachers.”

—Rodger W. Bybee, Executive Director, BSCS Science Learning (Retired)

“Imagine if every teacher taught nature journaling, every student spent enough time outside to fill a journal each year, and our kids were becoming writers, artists, and scientists all at once. I’d send my kid to that school. Thanks to Emilie Lygren and Jack Laws, we now have the vision and the tools to make this our reality.”

—Craig Strang, Associate Director, Lawrence Hall of Science

“Nature journaling is the single most valuable tool and skill a teacher can possess and use to move the Next Generation Science Standards and environmental literacy forward in their school. You need to do this!”

—Rob Wade, Science & Outdoor Education Coordinator, Plumas Unified School District/Plumas County of Education

Additional information

Weight 0.93 kg
Dimensions 21.5 × 28 × 2 cm
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