Nature Study Group

Nature Study groups are on the 1st and 3rd Friday afternoons of each month. The purpose of the Nature study group is to provide hands-on learning that is usually not able to be done in classroom or home settings. We meet in different locations for each group session; students will need a ride to and from the locations. We will notify families about the location via our newsletter. We will study nature, seasonal change, the complexity and beauty of natural things, and will create nature journal entries to reflect all that we have learned.

Remember to dress for the weather and bring your nature journal and supplies along!


Nature Study with Mrs. Rebecca

Trimester 1: Crops
We will explore the most common crops in the midwest, corn, soybeans, and wheat, if possible. We will compare the natural crops with the domesticated crops we see. We will do a couple of quick trips to local areas to do some specific studies and some in-depth brush drawing lessons. 

Trimester 2: Weather
We will be exploring weather in the midwest, specifically the changes of seasons and hibernation of mammals as a result of our local weather. We will put into practice some elementary survival skills. We will try to coordinate with local nature centers for snowshoeing. We will begin our annual phenology wheels.

Trimester 3: Insects
We will explore insects in our biome. We will learn a bit about scientific notation and scientific families as we get to know our areas insects. Scientific notation will help us keep better journals and we will explore book of firsts and other journaling techniques.


Nature Journaling with Mrs. Stephanie

At the end of each nature hike, we will stop to make an entry in our nature journals. We will practice using different tools and media (ink, watercolor, colored pencil, etc.). The goal is to record what we learned but also to try to capture that day in nature so well that you can picture it years later. Some techniques we will go over include:

  • Observation skills, intentional curiosity, and sensory exploration
  • Special projects to focus your awareness
  • Using writing, diagramming, lists, counting & measuring, maps, and cross-sections
  • How to effectively display information
  • Art materials & journals
  • How to organize it all so you you have all you need without carrying too much
  • Effectively using media: watercolor, ink, pencil, etc.
  • How to draw animals, trees, plants, wildflowers, and landscapes
  • Journaling through the seasons
  • Use of nature guides and other resources

We are excited to be training in Davy Crocket, our pack goat. He will help us to carry the group supplies so we don’t have to haul as much into the nature areas. He is very friendly and we take turns walking him.