A language arts teacher has students learning the value of being outside, and journaling about the details of nature.
Seventh graders at Hoosac Valley Middle and High School and their teacher Dawn Klein have teamed up with Jennifer Lovett, a conservation biologist, author, artist, and nature journalist. They are participating in outings that were arranged by Klein after hearing about a workshop that Lovett did at the Clark Art Institute.
Instead of taking notes in words, students note what they observe about an animal or natural object, and draw it in detail, along with jotting down a description.
“It gave us a new thing to do and we could see things we were not used to seeing that often,” said seventh-grader Mason Morin.
According to Lovett, it’s “not so much about the art but the kind of 19th-century pastime of documenting an item as much as you can so you can later refer to it, kind of like Audubon’s drawings.”
The idea behind nature journaling is that as you spend time observing, you are better able for focus on details. Klein says that writers and communicators tend to be detail oriented.
“One of the characteristics of good writing is using the power of observation. Having a close up view of something is how we are able to bring it closer to life,” she said.