We did something a bit different for nature study today. Last week I followed a link (can’t even remember where I saw it…maybe on the Ambleside Online forum) to a downloadable nature journaling curriculum from the California Native Plant Society. Now you might be wondering why on earth someone living on the east coast of Canada would be interested in native plants of California, but what I really downloaded the curriculum for was the wonderful drawing tips and instruction at the beginning. It is a little advanced for my children, but I figured I could learn some techniques that would be helpful to pass on to them as we draw plants and birds.
Then last evening as I was doing a bit of research for our nature study today on the European Starling (a frequent visitor to our bird feeder), I remembered this downloaded booklet. Then I found this great YouTube video where one of the authors of the aforementioned curriculum walks you through the step by step process of drawing a bird and what to make special note of. The video is twelve minutes long or so and some of it was over our heads, but I thought there were enough simple tips to make it worthwhile watching with the kids. I’m so glad I did! We followed along, sketching in our nature journals as he did in his, and I’m amazed at the results. I mean, I’ve tried to draw birds before, and I’ve seen birds that my kids have drawn, but these sketches are the best by far in our repertoire! I’m excited to apply these principles to other birds we see around our yard!