Observing Nature

Grades K-4  |  75 minutes | Program


Explore the museum’s collections through activities that will develop observational, recording, and sharing skills. Students will create several nature journal entries, reinforcing the scientific importance of keeping good notes and clear drawings.

If your class is already journaling, please bring your journals to the museum! Ensure that students have sufficient room on blank paper to glue 5.5” x 8.5” templates inside the journal. If not, the museum will supply a small journal for each student.

Note: We recommend planning an extra half hour for journaling and exploration after the lesson.

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This is an educational program, which is an activity-focused experience. If you are looking for a museum tour, which will allow your group to learn more about the stories behind the museum’s exhibitions and displays, please look at our selections of 60-minutes tours, such as To Eat or Be Eaten or What is Biodiversity?.

  • Kindergarten: Plants and animals have observable features
    • Basic needs of plants and animals, features of local plants and animals that help them meet their basic needs
  • Science 1: Living things have features and behaviours that help them survive in their environment
    • Structural features of living things in the local environment
  • Science 2: All things have a life cycle
    • Metamorphic and non-metamorphic life cycles of different organisms
  • Science 3: Living things are diverse, can be grouped, and interact in their ecosystems
    • Biodiversity in the local environment
  • Science 4: All living things and their environment are interdependent
    • Organisms in ecosystems sense and respond to their environment
  • Arts Education K-1: People connect to others and share ideas through the arts
  • Arts Education 2: Creative expression develops our unique identity and voice
  • Arts Education 3: The arts connect our experiences to the experiences of others
  • Arts Education 3-5: Connect knowledge and skills from other areas of learning in planning, creating, and interpreting works of art
  • English Language Arts K-4: Stories can be told through pictures and words, everyone can be a reader and a writer

Many of our Educator Resources can support your visit. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Pre-Visit Resources

  • A Skeleton Story by Numbers
  • Textures and Rubbings

Scavenger Hunts and Museum Activities

We suggest using a scavenger hunt before or after your program to help students explore the museum in a guided way.

  • Creature Features
  • Forest Biodiversity
  • Oceans Biodiversity
  • Urban BiodiverseCity
  • Wetland Biodiversity

Post-Visit Resources

  • An Invertebrate’s School Life
  • Creating a Nature Table
  • Entomology Collage
  • Marine Invertebrate Classification
  • Nature Guides and Logs
  • Nature Journal Blank Sheets
  • Nature Journal Observation Pages
  • Pressing Plants
  • Using a Nature Journal Year Round

Crafts and Class Activities

  • Nature Journal Blank Sheets
  • Nature Journal Observation Sheets


Please visit our Educator Resources page to download these materials.