September 22, 2007

Nature Notebook Class

This semester for our homeschool cooperative I am teaching a great and easy class for the 2nd-4th graders, nature notebooking. On the first day I gave a general overview of what nature notebooking was and what sorts of items they might want to include in their books. I gave them only two rules for the book.

1. It doesn't have to be perfect.
2. If God made it you can draw it

Only God made it perfect so all I want you to do is draw from your heart and mind what you see in the way you want to. Then we headed outside.

We had a lovely but breezy day to be outside. Thankfully some flowers survived our first frost in Minnesota and they were able to sit outside near the flowers and sketch. There was a wide variety of what was sketched - trees, spiderwebs, flowers, berries, landscapes, leaf rubbings, moths, grasshoppers, bees, and on the list went.

I think this will be a lovely class - as the kids gain confidence and continue to enjoy themselves. It was a sight to see the kids all spread out in different spots sitting quietly sketching. Some worked very quickly and went through several pages drawing individual items such as a single berry on a page. Others sat for a long time and created complete landscapes.

We encouraged each child to draw for the entire time no matter how many items they sketched and to put the date, location, and time on their pages so they can refer back to them later. They all seemed to enjoy themselves and this is a time I will look forward to each week. In case of unpredictable Minnesota weather I will have field guides, books and pictures for them to sketch from indoors when needed.

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