Thursday, March 23, 2017

Nature Journaling

The very last lesson (Lesson 13) in Apologia's Exploring Creation with Botany (our new science text!) is about "Nature Journaling."  We chose to do it first, at the suggestion of a good friend who just finished this curriculum, because it would be helpful to know for the rest of our botany studies.  In other words, I'm not sure why they put this chapter at the very end.
In this lesson, we learned about the benefits of keeping nature journals, famous people who used them, and things to include in our journaling.  Throughout this course, we will be using Apologia's Junior Botany Notebooking Journal to record what we are learning.
After our reading and recording, it was time to make a nature journal!  We picked a large cereal box to start.
We got together some materials to make it, including pretty pieces of scrapbooking paper (Maggie picked them out), adhesive squares, tacky glue, a three-hole punch, a ruler, scissors, a pencil, some plain, white paper, and yarn.
She loved this activity!
Can you believe this was just a POPS cereal box?  It turned out so pretty!
Mags couldn't wait to use it!  We headed outdoors and she spotted a flowering plant (angiosperm) that she wanted to draw and later identify.  Here she is, busy at work!
 I giggled at the way she was holding her spare pencils ...
 And her entry was complete!  After she drew the plant and took notes, we went home and used her notes to look up what she had drawn - a spiderwort (Tradescania virginiana).
Botany's going to be lots of fun!  Our next post will be about Lesson 1 ("Botany") of this text.  Check back!


  1. Looks like botany is off to a fun and creative start. Very smart to start with the nature journal...that will be a fantastic keepsake for recording all your exciting findings the coming year.

    I gave Emma a choice for next year's science curriculum (flying creatures, swimming creatures, or land animals) and she chose swimming creatures! We are exciting to dig in. I was interested to see that you choose the junior version of the notebooks because that is what I was leaning toward for Emma. Even though she will "technically" be in fourth grade next year, she struggles a bit with writing and I didn't want to bog her down. She loves to draw, and I want to inspire her to grab the highlights but not feel obligated to take extensive notes from the text. I also want her to still have the "umph" needed to make it through a history journal, as well as the other daily subjects that require writing. Did you feel the junior notebook served you well? Also, any words of wisdom for our diorama? Which brand of clay works the best for sculpting the little animals? Emma will LOVE that part of the study.

    Spring is such a sweet time to start a botany study. So much in bloom and such a good time for "planting your own evidence". Ha!

    Always enjoy your posts. Have a good week!

    1. Hi, Brooke! Always good to hear from you! Your reasons for choosing the Junior version notebook are EXACTLY what my reasons were for choosing it. And trust me ... it has enough writing in it already! Mags will be in fifth grade this fall and I will still use the Junior version for that year. We are not switching to the regular version until 6th grade when we start Anatomy. I think the Junior notebook sounds like the better option for you, too. Maggie even hemmed and hawed a bit with some of the "Fascinating Facts" pages in this version, so I can only imagine how much she would have complained with the other. And for pages that we didn't want to complete (like the print version of the Scripture Copywork (I only made her do the cursive for extra practice)), I would cover them with my own additions, like a video review sheet, for example. That way, we had a full notebook with things that interested us, like a synopsis of a fun video on cuttlefish, versus another page of copywork.

      For our diorama we found that the Sculpey oven-bake clay worked best. (You can buy this at any craft store.) We tried to buy regular clay at first and it never hardened enough, so we couldn't hang that fish or put it in a spot where it could be bumped. We quickly switched. Also, we bought wrapping paper that looked like water and blue cellophane (both at Michael's) so we could wrap common objects (like a toilet paper tube and a raisin container) so our sea creatures could sit at different heights. Otherwise, everything would have sat on the bottom of our box. We wanted our box to look full throughout.

      You will LOVE Zoology 2! Are you still blogging? I would love to see Emma's creatures!

      You have a good week, too, and thank you for always brightening my day with such uplifting words!