Field Trip 1: Exploring Our Coast
Introduction to nature journaling and observation
The goal of this activity is to encourage observation and description. It should also be a time for students to think of a few "I wonder why" questions.
Estimated Time of Activity
Two to three hour field trip to the most easily accessible coastal environment (sandy beach, salt marsh, rocky shore).
- SWBAT use tools such as journals and cameras to record observations
- Students observe similarities and differences in flora, fauna, and abiotic factors of two different environments.
- Students use computers to record observations and sketches, etc…
- Students generate a few ideas for their research project.
- The teacher must always visit the field site first. Determine access points, dangerous areas, etc…
- Before the field trip, introduce students to the concept of nature journaling. This is a good introduction: http://www.sierraclub.org/education/nature_journal.asp. The beauty of nature journaling is that students that are more artistic/ creative as well as more scientific/ analytical will be able to use their nature journals in a way that complements their strengths.
- Although this trip is introductory, do not let students simply wander about aimlessly. Begin with an activity such as shell collecting, or bird-spotting.
- The students may then choose an area to fill in their nature journals.
- As students complete their nature journals, look it over for completeness, then give the early finishers garbage bags to begin cleaning up the shoreline.
- Visit one other coastal ecosystem and complete nature journal and take photos
- Upload observations and pictures from both sites.
- Write a descriptive essay comparing and contrasting sites.
- Guidelines for nature journaling
- Clipboards and pencils
- Field guides
- Garbage bags and/ or plastic bags (shell and garbage collecting); work gloves