What Is Nature Journaling?
Keeping an illustrated, observational journal is a centuries-old method that has been reenvisioned and refined through the lens of our understanding of neuroscience, learning, and deliberate practice. A nature journal is a lens that focuses our attention and crystalizes our observations, thoughts, and experiences.
Nature Journaling is collecting and organizing your observations, questions, connections, and explanations on the pages of a notebook using words pictures, and numbers. You do not need to be an artist or a naturalist to begin. These skills can be learned by anyone, and you can develop them with deliberate practice. The system is creative, rigorous, and playful, easy to begin and learn, and will grow and mature over a lifetime. Start now: you can do this, and the world is waiting.
Nature Journaling will enrich your experiences and develop observation, curiosity, gratitude, reverence, memory, and the skills of a naturalist. It helps you discover, think, remember, and integrate new information with your existing knowledge. Train your mind, and the world will offer you its secrets of wonder and beauty.
Here is a video I made to help you get started.
Free Live Online Workshops
Need some help getting started or fresh ideas to spice up your practice? Join me online for three one-hour nature journaling workshops every week at 12:00 PM Noon (Pacific Time). See the schedule for details and links to join any of the meetings. There is a new topic for every class!
- Tuesday: “Ask Jack” Open office hours where you come with your nature top journaling questions that we troubleshoot together.
- Wednesday: Educator Forum. Join nature journaling educators from around the globe for a discussion of best practices and teaching strategies.
- Thursday: The Nature Journal Workshop. A deep dive into the details of drawing and journaling strategies. Be sure to check the event description each week for the topic and supply list and sometimes downloadable classroom materials.
Recorded Workshops and Blog Tutorials
If you have missed any of the tutorials or classes, you can watch most of them any time by visiting my blog archive. Skim the categories and find a class that is right for you.
You also might consider attending the Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Conference, or purchasing the Video Pass, which gives you access to recordings from our latest conference. More information here.
Books and Materials
- I have written several books on nature drawing and journaling that can help you get started, including The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling, and The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds.
- My book, How to Teach Nature Journaling (co-authored with Emilie Lygren), is available as a free PDF download, and while it is targeted to teachers, it is a great resource for beginners because it includes 30+ nature journaling activities that you can try yourself.
- You may also find it helpful to review this list of my suggested materials and equipment for nature journaling.
- Please visit my store to purchase my books, art supplies, and see many free educational downloads. When you buy these items from me in my store, it greatly helps support me and my many free educational resources. Thank you for your support.
- Amaya Shreeve publishes the Junior Journaler Nature Magazine. A great read to encourage journalers of any age but is targeted at kids.
The Nature Journal Connection
Join me each week for a free 15-min recorded nature journaling workshop featuring fun and engaging activities that build the skills of a scientist, naturalist, artist, and observer. Appropriate for children of all ages as well as adults, this program will connect science, language arts, math, visual arts, critical thinking, and mindfulness. Learn More.
The Nature Journal Club
One of the best ways to grow is to join a community of journalers who share ideas and inspiration. Join the Nature Journal Club today! We are an international movement that integrates art, science, and nature exploration. A Nature Journal Club is a diverse family-friendly, intergenerational community of artists and naturalists, of all levels, who meet together and online to connect to nature through art and science. Local chapters organize regular field trips and workshops. We have a vibrant Nature Journal Club on Facebook with 15,000+ members worldwide, and you can also find a Nature Journal Club near you or start your own! Learn More.
Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Conference
The Wild Wonder Nature Journaling Conference, founded in 2019, is a gathering of nature journalists from around the world. Led by John Muir Laws, our experienced teacher team offers a full schedule of classes, workshops, and field trips. The event also includes evening lectures, nature journaling challenges, social time, and an online auction. Learn more about the event.
- Junior Nature Journal Club (ages 9-12)
- Nature Journal Club for Teens
- The Junior Nature Journaler Magazine
- Journaling With Nature Podcast
- International Nature Journaling Week
- The Nature Journal Show (Vlog)
- Curiosity, Creativity, and Beyond (nature journaling projects and how-to videos, free)
- Nature Awareness Haida Gwaii: A step by step intro to nature journaling (files available after joining FB group)
- Find a Nature Journaling teacher/mentor near you