Earth Day 2023 with TMO 🌎 Nature Journaling

April 22nd: Earth Day 2023 📔✏️

We hope you’re looking forward to celebrating Earth Day in your classroom, learning group, or family! This year, we wanted to focus on the practice of nature journaling, and give it a little sharable twist within our amazing community of outdoor educators and learners! Read on to learn more and a chance to win…

The first official organized “Earth Day” began in 1970, and has grown immensely since its inception. There is no singular correct way to celebrate, and we hope you have the opportunity to head outside and spend time having fun and reflecting on our relationship to the planet we all call home.

Nature journaling is an activity and practice that can be done by all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Its openness and accessibility are two of the reasons we love it!

Below, we will introduce a few resources and activities for you to explore based on age. Feel free to just dive in and see what works for you!


Our hope is to create a beautiful tapestry of nature journal entries collected on a special Padlet we made just for the occasion. All submissions will be entered to win prizes and swag from Take Me Outside!

Follow this link to submit to the Padlet, or use the QR code below:

If you’d like to know more about the official Earth Day organization and explore their programs and work, click here.

Suggested Resource for Pre-K to Grade 3

“A nature journal is a simple format of writing and drawing ideas about the natural world. Nature journals are a helpful means to inspire children’s creativity, intellectual ideas, and physical competencies.”

Suggested Resource for Grades 4-8

“Nature Journaling is collecting and organizing your observations, questions, connections, and explanations on the pages of a notebook using words pictures, and numbers. You do not need to be an artist or a naturalist to begin. These skills can be learned by anyone, and you can develop them with deliberate practice. The system is creative, rigorous, and playful, easy to begin and learn, and will grow and mature over a lifetime. Start now: you can do this, and the world is waiting.”

A free PDF version of their “How to Teach Nature Journaling” resource is available here. Or you can purchase a physical copy from our friends at the Outdoor Learning Store!

Suggested Resource for Grades 9-12

“Pedagogically, I believe one of the greatest strengths of the illustrated journals exercise is the practice we provide for students in making primary observations. Much of our scholarship depends upon our ability to make observations that are undiluted by preconceived notions. Often, however, this is a skill that must be learned. Writing an illustrated journal is also inherently an act of creation and enables students to become the active creators of knowledge rather than passive recipients of information.”

Suggested Resource for All Ages

Bonus Resources and Events

“A journal is a powerful tool. It unlocks creativity; hones observation skills; provides a window into the past; and is the data collection backbone of the scientific process – all while reinforcing important record-keeping skills such as reading, writing, and drawing.” Most suitable for learners from Pre-K to Grade 8.

“Like our favorite nature-based activities, keeping a nature journal helps kids slow down when they’re outdoors and take in their surroundings. Part field journal, part art portfolio and part diary, a nature journal is a special place for kids to keep track of and record their observations from nature.” Most suitable for younger learners.

Stories can be told to a journal. This might be done through drawing or art, or writing, depending on the skill and interest of the author/artist. Journals are a great way to record experiences with sit spot, create personal field guides, or keep seasonal records.” Suitable for all learners.

With Naturalist, Artist, and Educator John (Jack) Muir Laws. “Jack is a scientist, educator, and author, who helps people forge a deeper and more personal connection with nature through keeping illustrated nature journals and understanding science. His work intersects science, art, and mindfulness.” Suitable for all learners.

Watch Ariana Roundpoint, one of the authors of ‘Sila and the Land’ and Jacob Parliament from GreenLearning for an interactive session to discuss Earth Month Resources for Educators.” Suitable for all learners.

“Field-tested by over a hundred educators, this book includes dozens of activities that easily support The Common Core and The Next Generation Science Standards—and, just as important, that will show kids and mentors alike how to recognize the wonder and intrigue in their midst.” Suitable for all learners.

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