Writing & Drawing in the Naturalist's Journal: Reviving the Tradition of the Naturalist's Journal as an Effective Learning Tool
Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology
The naturalist's journal is a collection of writings and sketches that captures selected thoughts or observations of nature and represents both immediate learning and raw material that is available for more polished work. This article talks about a naturalist's journal as an effective teaching and learning tool. Creating a naturalist's journals helps students connect to and engage with nature, as they increase their familiarity, understanding, and positive attitudes regarding the natural environment. In their journals students should use both written descriptions and drawings. Students can experiment with various modes of thought and expression to discover how they complement each other in capturing field experiences. Students should keep an open mind, but also learn to be selective. The naturalist's journal is a tool for translating students' experiences into verbal and visual language through processes that are both analytical and creative. At the same time, it can bring to the surface feelings about nature, and can serve as a vehicle to help students explore the connections between how they perceive and think about natural phenomena and how they value the natural environment.