Reader's & Writer's Notebook: Nature Journal 


Sample Nature Journal Response


Entry Date: 10/20/17
Focus: Fall Nature Journal




About the size of the palm of my hand.

Smooth on the top, jagged on the edges and ribbed on the underside.

specific location
This leaf was on the end of a low hanging branch of a birch  tree located  southwest of the Memorial Garden- west of school, north of track, south of football field.

There are thousands of leaves like this one on this tree and many trees just like it nearby.

 "The phenomena of the year take place every day…the day is an epitome of the year. The night is the winter, the morning and evening are the spring and fall, and the noon is the summer" (Thoreau).

In your own words (not video- typed words), interpret the above selected passage by Thoreau. Then explore how and why Thoreau’s ideas connect to your life and experiences. 

Thoreau is comparing the cycle of a year to the cycle of a day which prompts me to consider how these cycles are also like the cycle of a person's life: morning/spring/childhood  to  noon/summer/early adulthood   to  evening/fall/mid-life adulthood    to night/winter/late-life adulthood/death.  This connects to me since I am in the fall of my life - my favorite season! I like the beautiful colors of fall and how the air gets crsip again. Life feels invigorating and fresh after the hot and humid days of late summer are gone. At this point in my life, I feel invigorated again - looking forward to the years ahead doing a job I love and spending time with people I love.  When I look at life through Thoreau's metaphor, I can  embrace the beauty of my late afternoon/evening and enjoy my fall !
. time of day
Mid-morning -the sun is only about half-way up in the sky.

Warm, sunny -  just warm enough for a swim.

This leaf had several different shades of green with the veins and edges of the leaf being a different shade of green from the main body of the leaf.


A nature journal is both a visual and a written record of your observations and thoughts. Before you head outside, keep in mind these nature journaling tips and tricks...

Think Small
Focus on something that could fit in the palm of your hand. Detail will be more easily captured and observed this way.

Check out the vein structure of a leaf or the limb structure of a tree. Are the limbs opposite each other or do they alternate? Check out the edge of a leaf. Is it smooth or toothed?

Lean on Me
Carry something to lean on so you can make notes to hold on to your thinking until you can access your Google-Drive and write up your nature journal entry. 

Find one thing to focus on at a time. Like that tree? Focus on a branch and then focus in on a leaf on that branch.

Capture Your Focus Point 
Sketch or photograph your nature journal focus point. Use a smart phone or camera to capture your nature journal focus or to digitize a sketch . Upload directly rom your phone or camera to your Google Drive and then insert the image into your notebook.