I notice, I wonder, it reminds me of…

Summary:  Get outside and into nature regularly, with nature study ideas to focus your observations and learning.

Set-up: 5 minutes
Play: 1-2 hours
Complexity: medium, easier with adult supervision

Materials

  • a place in nature
  • a notebook
  • writing and drawing materials

What to do

Visit a place in nature. Choose an aspect of nature to focus upon, for example, leaves, seed pods or cloud formations and use the notebook as nature journals to record observations. Help children to hone their observation skills by using the phrase prompts: “I notice..”, “I wonder…”, “It reminds me of…”. Model making your own observations using these prompts. Encourage children to use words, pictures or numbers to record their observations – emphasise the aim is not about making a pretty picture but about recording accurate and interesting observations, as this can help children who are less confident. Keep a nature journal for yourself.

Extensions

Challenge children to use drawing, writing and numbers in their journal entry.

Discuss what children learned through their observing and questioning.

Teach children to trace around an object and use their outline as a base for filling in the detail.

Collect specimens to take home, display and/or label.

Use a magnifying glass: what more can you notice with this tool?

Allow time for free play and exploration in nature, which is beneficial for well-being, attention skills and motor skill development.

What learning does this activity promote?

attention, awe and wonder, creativity, critical thinking, scientific practice, observation, connection with nature, writing, drawing and record-keeping

PREPARED FOR THE EDUCATION HUB BY

Dr Vicki Hargraves

Vicki runs our ECE webinar series and also is responsible for the creation of many of our ECE research reviews. Vicki is a teacher, mother, writer, and researcher living in Marlborough. She recently completed her PhD using philosophy to explore creative approaches to understanding early childhood education. She is inspired by the wealth of educational research that is available and is passionate about making this available and useful for teachers.