This is a free educational video series with John Muir Laws created in partnership with the Children’s Creativity Museum. Each video is between 10 and 15 minutes long and helps you build essential nature journaling skills step-by-step. Perfect for classroom and home learning.
The most current episode is embedded here. Below this video window is an episode list. I suggest you start with episode 1, watch one episode each week, and follow the activity prompts to build your skills.
Below is a list of episodes. I will add more over the course of the project. Just click the title of the episode to watch it.
- NJC, Episode 1: Introduction to Nature Journaling
- NJC, Episode 2: I notice, I wonder, It reminds me of
- NJC, Episode 3: My Secret Plant
- NJC, Episode 4: Zoom In-Zoom Out
- NJC, Episode 5: Counting and Measuring
- NJC, Episode 6: Making a Map
- NJC, Episode 7: Cross Section
- NJC, Episode 8: Asking Questions
- NJC, Episode 9: Nature Comics
- NJC, Episode 10: Using Words in your Nature Journal
- NJC, Episode 11: Drawing Diagrams
- NJC, Episode 12: Investigation
- NJC, Episode 13: Colored Pencils in Your Journal
- NJC: Episode 14, Pace Yourself!
- NJC: Episode 15, Estimating Numbers in Nature
- NJC, Episode 16: Could it be-Using Inference to Explore Mysteries
- NJC, Episode 17: Comparison
- NJC, Episode 18: Measure the Wind!
- NJC, Episode 19: Getting Closer- Using Binoculars
- NJC, Episode 20: Measured Drawings
- NJC, Episode 21, Birdsong in your Nature Journal
- NJC, Episode 22: Sitspot: Observing a Special Place Over Time
- NJC, Episode 23: Make your own Nature Collection
- NJC, Episode 24: Four Drawing Tricks
- NJC, Episode 25: Sampling and Graphing
- NJC, Episode 26: Exploring Biodiversity
- NJC, Episode 27: Little Landscapes
- NJC, Episode 28: Creative Collaboration
Please Support This Series
I am creating these videos and offering them for free to help support nature journalers and educators all around the world. If you are able to support my work with a donation, please donate online here.
What Teachers are saying…
I recently started sharing John Muir Law’s Nature Journal Connection lessons with a group of 1st – 5th graders who are doing distance learning due to COVID-19. The techniques and activities are fascinating, approachable, well-structured, and seem to work with all ages.-Helen Anderson, elementary teacher in Washington state
I teach using the Montessori method and the group of children I work with are accustomed to having varied, high-level input with which they work independently in an open-ended manner. They are relishing the nature journaling activities. All of us are enjoying the combination of connecting with nature and with each other that the Nature Journal Connection provides.
As do other distance learning teachers, I juggle to meet children’s social, emotional, and academic needs during these times. Nature journaling seems to hit the spot for all three of these needs.
Helping children connect with nature and giving them opportunities to be creative are some of the best things we can do for them right now. It is healing and provides a connection to community as they share these activities with each other, friends, and family. Last but not least, while nature journaling, children practice real-life and academic skills through drawing, writing, counting, measuring, observing, and finding out answers to their questions about animals, plants, water, soil, weather and climate, geology, and ecology. They grow in their awareness of the world, its many connections, and their place in it.
About The Nature Journal Connection Video Series
In partnership with the Children’s Creativity Museum in San Francisco, I am working with a team to produce this series of 40 FREE 15-min recorded nature journaling workshops featuring fun and engaging activities that build the skills of a scientist, naturalist, artist, and observer. We released the first episode on October 27, 2020, and we will release one each week through July 2021. Appropriate for children of all ages as well as adults, this program connects science, language arts, math, visual arts, critical thinking, mindfulness, wonder, curiosity, and joy.
My hope is that everyone around the world–from school teachers and their students, to homeschoolers, to parents and their children, to all adults–will enjoy these free workshops and use them to explore nature, take time to notice the wonder and beauty all around us, and fall more deeply in love with nature through the pages of their journals.
The workshops will help you build the essential nature journaling skills. Once you have gone through the series for the first time, you can watch the videos again in a new year. You will pick up details that you missed before and can try the prompts with a new phenomenon. Your journal pages will be totally different than what you did before. As you look through your journals from previous years, you will see the many ways you have grown and developed as a journaler, observer, and scientist.
This Series Is Great For:
- Homeschool parents
- Homeschool students
- Everyone who wants a closer connection with nature
What Is the Target Age For These Workshops?
The Nature Journal Connection video series is designed for a wide range of ages and experience levels. These workshops are appropriate for learners ages 7 to adult. Because the activities are based on observations of real phenomena and teach fundamental observation and science practices, I use the same activities with 2nd graders and university students. Younger students (ages 5-6) can also do the activities but will need more support with writing. It is OK for them to dictate words to an adult who can add them to the journal. Toddlers can begin nature journaling as soon as they can hold a pencil. At the start, they may be playing with color and patterns while watching you work in your journal. As they develop eye-hand coordination and fine motor skills, they will be ready and inspired to do more.
Where Can I Find More Resources About Nature Journaling?
My website has many free resources to help support your nature journaling journey as well as resources to help you teach nature journaling in your classroom or homeschool. Check out this page for a detailed list.
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About Our Partner: Children’s Creativity Museum
The Children’s Creativity Museum, based in San Francisco, CA, offers hands-on, multimedia arts and technology experiences designed to build creative confidence in children ages 2-12. Their mission is to nurture creativity and collaboration in all children and families. They believe that creative expression, innovation, and critical thinking are core to fostering the next generation.