Teaching Support

Excited to journal but not sure where to begin? This guide offers some ideas on getting started.

What is Nature Journaling?

Nature journaling is a powerful, flexible learning tool that builds critical thinking skills and nurtures a connection to the outdoors.

Introducing Journaling Activities

We use these strategies to support student success and engagement when we introduce a journaling activity.

Supporting Student Engagement During Journaling Activities

We use these strategies to support participation and engagement while students are journaling.

Managing the Outdoor Classroom

Journaling activities take concentration and focus. We want to set students up for success by taking care of their basic needs and journaling at a time when they’ll be engaged.

Adjusting Activities for Age and Experience

All activities on this site are appropriate for students in fourth grade and up. Here, we offer suggestions for scaffolding the activities to support younger students in participating.

Finding Phenomena for Activities

What to journal about? Check out our suggestions for finding things in the outdoors to focus journaling activities, and choosing phenomena to support your learning goals.

Giving Feedback on Student Journals

See our approaches for offering feedback on student journals that affirms their existing skills and encourages further growth and development.

Grading and Evaluation

This simple rubric can be used to qualitatively and quantitatively assess student work, and offer suggestions for growth.

Connecting to Content and Curriculum

Some of the richest rewards of nature journaling can emerge when the practice is a springboard into further inquiry and learning.

Cut and Paste Journaling Toolkit Pages

Print these pages and encourage students to cut and paste them to the back cover or back pages of their journals. They offer tools, scaffolds, and strategies students can use in their journaling.

Tools and Materials: Journals

Students need journals to nature journal! Check out this list of affordable options and resources on custom-designing journals that will suit the specifics of your program or situation.

Drawing and Writing Tools

You don’t need fancy drawing equipment to journal. We recommend using the following drawing and writing tools with students:

Nature Study Tools

These simple tools for studying nature can enhance students’ journaling experiences and offer varied ways to make observations.