CNPS Curriculum – Opening the World through Journaling: Integrating art, science, and language arts

by John Muir Laws and Emily Bruenig

Our parent organization, CNPS, is offering a spectacular curriculum for children that works in a multitude of settings from school yards to CNPS events, to camps and family outings. It is geared primarily towards children age 8 and up, meeting grades 3 through 7 standards but it is easily adaptable for teenagers and adults.

Opening the World through Journaling: Integrating art, science, and language arts, a curriculum written for CNPS by John Muir Laws and Emily Brueunig, teaches children to become keen observers of the natural world by drawing and writing about the plants and animals in situ. In a set of nested exercises, students use games to gain confidence in drawing and writing as a way to gather information. Later, they employ these skills to put together a field guide, make treasure maps, and to write short stories and poems.

“Keeping a field journal develops and reinforces the most important science process skills; observation and documentation. All other parts of the process of science depend on these skills. We assume that we are naturally good observers, but learning to really see is a skill that must be learned and developed. Journal activities tie directly to the State of California science framework content standards and the visual and performing arts framework content standards.” –John Muir Laws

CNPS would like to know who uses the material and how it is used for grant and goal purposes and will send you a request to evaluate the curriculum after using it. For this reason, the curriculum is available only from the CNPS website (link). *This project is funded to date by the JiJi Foundation

Please leave a comment below if you have used this curriculum. Everyone would love to hear about your experience! Thank you.

John Muir Laws

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