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Nature Journals have been an important part of our homeschooling over the years. They are the perfect way for all ages to record their observations from our time studying nature. Older students can write what they observe. They can describe what they see, hear, feel, smell, and sometimes even taste in their age-appropriate ways.
Related post: The Minimalist Guide To Nature Journals
Sketching is, also, an important part of nature journaling. Students of all ages can draw what they see. This is great for young ones who can’t write yet. They can use pencils to sketch and colored pencils or crayons to fill in the color. Sketching is great for older students, too. It causes them to really look closely at what they are observing. It helps hone their observation skills.
Help With Nature Journal Sketching
One problem that we have had with sketching in nature journals is that there comes a point when someone decides they can’t draw. When kids are little, they think they can draw anything. But, then they get older and more self-aware and self conscious and they don’t want to draw if it doesn’t look perfect. Or, they are like me and do not have a artistic bone in their body and their stick people don’t even look like stick people. In these instances, I have allowed a little creative licence and have tried some fun, confidence building sketching.
To teach the kids how to draw and to build their confidence, we have used how-to-draw books and online tutorials with great success. We have, also used chalk pastel tutorials many times. But, one of the most simple and fun resources we have used has been 20 Ways To Draw A Tree.
This book is full of nature drawings and doodles of 20 ways to draw 45 things from nature. The drawings in this book range from simple geometric shapes to accurate renderings. Anyone at any artistic level can copy these designs and be successful. The whole idea behind this book is to show that there is no right or wrong way to draw, as long as you are having fun.
We use this book to create art or to just doodle in our free time. I is a lot of fun to use. It allows the kids (and myself) to gain some confidence in their sketching and drawing skills, so when we went back into nature with our journals everyone felt they could sketch something.
Related post: The Link Between Science And Art
Sketching Trees And Flowers
Spring is coming and I am gearing up for more nature studies. Already, I have observed buds on the trees and early blooming flowers poking out of the frosty ground. Spring is a great time to study nature.
To prepare, we’ve been doing a little sketching and drawing for fun. Doodling is great for learning to draw shapes and to just have fun with being creative. Trees and flowers are great first subjects for sketching. Start with lines and simple shapes. Don’t worry about all the details or being perfect.
Related post: Why Doodling Is Good For Students
When you are doodling, the subject doesn’t always have to look like a specific species of tree or as a specific rock. You can be creative. Try different lines or shading. These skills will help with sketching the real thing later. The main idea of doodling is just having fun and learning how to use shapes to create.
Nature Observation Notebook Printable
Do you use nature journals? Over the years, we have used everything from spiral-bound notebooks to pretty bound journals to 3 ring binders for our nature journals. If you are just getting started or like to use printables, fill out the form below and I’ll send you an email with a link to this free nature observation printable download. This 6-page printable set will guide your student with nature questions and provide space on each page for sketching nature.
Check out these other books and projects from other creative bloggers.
- Handbook of Nature Study – My Favorite Tree-Terrific Trees of North America– Tree Nature Study Printable Pages
- Table Life Blog – The Curious Garden – Nature Scavenger Hunt
- Hide the Chocolate – The Giving Tree – Online Nature Book Club