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Field Journal Activity

Recycled Paper

Making and Keeping a Field Journal

by Christina Nelson

Here we will learn about  creating and up keeping a nature journal. Durign the COVID-19 pandemic we are spending all of our time indoors. Go ahead and open those windows, put out a bird feeder, and take some time to look closely at the spring flowers as you walk your dog. Take time to stop, listen, and reflect on the natural world around you every day! 

First we will start by learning 

how to set up a field journal 

and some exercise in nature 

immersion and sketching.

Sketched Seagull
Image by Peng Li

Step 1: Make your Field Journal

Find a journal, or make your own! 

What you will need:

- Printer paper or draft paper 8.5"x11"

- A piece of card stock or paper that is a different color from the others

- stapler or rubber band

First, get a stack of 5-10 pieces of printer paper and put the colored card stock paper on top. Fold this hamburger style with the colored paper on the outside. If you have a stapler, staple the stack on folded side so it holds the papers in place. If you do not have a stapler, put your rubberband along the inside folded piece and around the cover so it rests along the "spine" of the journal. This should hold the papers in place

Feather 4

Step 2: First Journal entry

Recycled Paper


Date 0/00/0000

Start your journal  by noting the weather, season, and where you are observing. Are you on a nature hike or sitting by the window looking outside? Are you on a long road trip, and if so, where are you going? 

Next, use all of your senses. What do you hear? What do you smell? What does the ground feel like? What do you see?

Spend 5 minutes and sit still, and focus on one of these senses. After you finish, write down everything you felt, heard etc. 

Now, time to find your sketching topic! What experience was most meaningful to you during this mindfulness exercise?

If you focused on the sky, try to draw the clouds.

If you heard an animal, like a bird, see if

you can find it and draw it. Don't worry

if it moved to fast to see details,

draw the general shape or even

use scribbles to show how it

was moving. 

Field sketching is all about 

writing and sketching, so if you 

can't draw it, write about it! Note

the color, the shape, and how it was moving. 


Black and White Flower
Recycled Paper
Recycled Paper
Hand Drawing
Pastel Bird
Hand Drawing
Image by Eepeng Cheong
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