Find a buddy, head outside, and have fun observing an object together! In this activity it takes one person to be the EYES and the other to be the HAND to notice and record observations.
What: Take turns practicing Noticing + Communicating details about something outside, and then Interpreting + Recording this information in your nature journal. Making careful observations is a fundamental science skill, and a primary component of being able to “Think like a scientist.”
Where: Anywhere outdoors
Materials: – Nature Journal: A notebook (preferably with blank pages) or clipboard and stapled together blank paper – any item you find in nature
– pencil/pen and other drawing supplies if desired
Time: 15-30 minutes
1. Find a partner. This is an easy activity to help keep social ties strong during distance learning as the partner can easily be connected with virtually.
2. Head outside and find an item to observe (big, small, or even the view itself — anything will work!). The important thing is keeping your chosen “item” secret from your partner.
3. Choose who will be the Eyes first (describing the details of their item) and who will be the Hand (interpreting and recording these observations into a drawing).
4. Sit back-to-back so the Hand cannot see what the Eyes are observing.
5. Observe and record — drawing together! When complete compare the drawing to the real item, noticing what is alike and different. Have a discussion about the process: What was tricky or unclear? What information would have helped? Did you need to ask more questions?
6. Switch spots and draw together again!
Extensions: Following an “Observation Routine” helps to deepen these skills. “I notice…, It reminds me of…, I wonder…” is a great one. The BEETLES Project has excellent information and video demonstrations for using this tool.