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Introduction to nature journaling

Return to Nature journaling​

Bring your journals and your investigative eye to this unique exploration of our natural world. Build skills of nature journaling, observation and sketching while exploring an outdoor location of your choice.

How to start:

  • Time: 30-60 minutes, depends on location and activity
  • Grab your nature journal (sketch book, notepad or homemade book) and pencil.
  • Allow time for everyone to find a quiet space to begin recording in their nature journals.
  • Begin your nature journal entry: write down the date, time, location, weather, and other observations.
  • See steps below for other ideas to consider for your journal entry.

Observation:

Everything has a story behind it. Think of yourself as a nature detective. What do detectives do? Ask questions, what types of questions do they ask?

  • Who – Who is this? Do I know the name of this object? If not, can I guess?
  • What – What colour is this? What shape is this? What else can we ask?
  • Where – Where did I find this? Where can I find more?
  • When – When did I observe this? What was the weather like? Where was I?
  • Why – Why is it here? Why is it shaped like this?
  • How – How tall is it? How is it constructed? How many leaves, berries, flowers, colours, etc?

Senses:

Senses are also important when exploring the natural world. How can we use our senses?

  • Eyes - We use our eyes to see.
  • Ears - We use our ears to listen for sounds.
  • Taste - We only taste the air to see if it changes with the season.
  • Touch - We pay attention to how things feel.
  • Nose - We think about the odours we smell.

Nature etiquette:

Always:

  • Look before touching.
  • Handle things carefully and put them back where I found them.
  • Wash my hands after I handle nature objects.

Never:

  • Pick a plant we don’t know.
  • Pick a plant from someone else’s property.
  • Put something in our mouths.

Remember:

Thinking like an artist, naturist and scientist means having an open mind to:

  • Observe closely (I notice, I wonder, it reminds me of…)
  • Notice details, be still and see what happens around us.
  • Look at things differently.
  • Enjoy the adventure and beauty of the world.​

Conclusion:

Gather everyone back and discuss their findings; What did you learn, see, feel? What do you want to learn more about?

Please consider taking part in the Nature City Challenge 2020. Share your findings to help Calgary Parks better understand and protect nature.

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