Here is how to begin an Observation Journal:
- A binder to collect completed observations
- Cardstock for drawing
- Lined paper for writing
- Colored Pencils
- Chalk Pastel
- Thick and thin waterproof markers
- Watercolor Pencils
- Magnifying Glass
1. Look at the subject for a while.
Help your students to really look at what they are observing. Pick the object up, turn it around, use a magnifying glass to see texture and detail. Take your time and try to throw out any preconcieved notions about the subject.
2. Talk about what is seen.
Help students to investigate what they are looking at by engaging them in conversation about the details of the object being observed.
3. Draw the object with realistic detail.
Encourage students to look at the lines, textures, and shapes. Have them think about proportions as they translate the three dimensional object to a 2-dimensional object on paper. When the drawing is complete, have them think about the color of the object and try to match the colors as close to the real thing as possible.
4. Read about the object.
Find a book or internet article to find facts about the object being observed. Depending on the student's age, have them take notes on a topic wheel.
5. Explore the object's potential.
What did you learn? What importance does the object hold in our world?
6. Write about the object.
Combine and convey information gained through direct observation and research.
It's as simple as that. The secret is that the framework of the activity allows for the glorious spontaneity that makes education rich. Observations range from a weed picked from the garden to vegetable plants grown specifically to be harvested for observation to insects to kitchen utensils to light bulbs to shoes. The possibilities are endless!