Monday, October 3, 2011

Free Nature Study Resources


Nature Study has become my new passion.  And as always my passions has to start with lots of research.   What's the best way to start?   How should I introduce it to my kids?   Do I need to be an expert?  

Of course, I'm sure anyone could answer my ?s--experts in nature study or not!

Just start by doing something!

Say, Hey let's go outside and look at some nature!

No need for an expert--learn with the kids!

How about resources?   Do I need to spend a hefty sum on my new hobby?   

Turns out that answer was also easy to find.  

No money (other than for ink and paper) needed.   

An awesome resource to get one started is Anna Botsford Comstock's Hand Book of Nature Study.

Written in 1911,  it is available as a free download.  

As a full 900 + page download, I have not printed out all the pages, but rather read some of it online and printed out specific sections to take outside with us during Nature Study time.  

And at 900+ pages, this book is overwhelming!

So to the rescue  is

by Barb-Harmony Art Mom.   

Guiding step-by-step, page-by-page through nature study challenges 

this blog 

provides specific pages numbers, additional printables, and numerous examples of actual studies by lots of different families

making nature study possible for anyone,

All for Free!  

In the spirit of free 

I went searching in my favorite library,

Google Books. 

and discovered Nature Study books galore!

Want something a wee bit less intimidating than Anna Botsford Comstock's book?

How about

Written directly to the teacher, it takes one through four full years of nature study that builds year upon year on the knowledge studied the year before.  Leaves, insects, minerals, weather are just a few of the topics covered.   Poems are suggested.  And (my favorite part) numerous line drawings are incorporated throughout the text.   These line drawings would be easy to follow and teach ones self how to sketch or even could be traced.   

This book is labeled as Part 1.  I haven't found Part 2 yet.  Let me know if you happen upon it!

follows the same idea as Nature Study by the Month, but has a specific course of study set-up  for grades 4 and 5.   Again this book is marked as a first in a series.   And again I haven't found the remaining parts of the series.   Do let me know if you find more of these awesome books.

is a bit different as it is written to for the student and not as a teaching guide.

James George Needham writes, "I have written of things I would have the pupils see and do and think about, and I trust no teacher will undertake to do all the seeing and doing and thinking for them."   

Well Mr. Needham--if I must, I will let the pupils do their own seeing and doing and thinking!   I suppose I will just need to become a pupil myself!

I really like this book because it is written to the older student.   I have noticed that many nature study readers tend to be geared towards younger students.   So this is a great find. 

is a wonderful book all about animals written for the mid-grammar aged child.   Each chapter focuses on a different animal, their habitat, and habits.    This book has charming illustrations and innumerable facts that any young animal lover will enjoy.  

Plants and Their Children is another charmer.   Frances Theodore Parsons claims to write directly to children in order to secure three things, "practice in the art of reading, amusement, and instruction."   She does all three things beautifully in this book.  Composed to follow the seasons, Ms. Parsons' wit shines throughout this book providing an enjoyable read for young and old alike.

Is written directly to younger students and includes much to capture their attention and foster a love of the birds that are around us every day.   Filled with stories, legends from different cultures, illustrations, poetry, and countless facts about birds, it delighted the socks off this adult.   I can't wait to share it with my almost teenagers as I'm sure they will enjoy it as much as any fresh reader is sure too.  

Enjoy these finds and your time outside learning about nature


Be sure to let me know of other free Nature Study resources you utilize!      



  1. wow! this is great, really :) thanks for the hard work! can't wait to have a long look.

  2. We love doing nature studies. Looks like some excellent resources. We have a guided nature journal we like using. Thanks for all the info.!

  3. What great resources! Thank you so much! :-) We love nature studies and there is no better time to go outside and explore than in the fall.

    Many blessings!

  4. Nature Study - How fun! Great resources! Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks for stopping by for this weeks Wobble Over Wednesday :)

  5. Beautiful pictures! Following you back from Wobble Over Wednesday.
    Kathe With An E

  6. My youngest two love all about nature. Can't wait to look closely into it. Thank you!

  7. Following you back! I hope to homeschool with my lil one, so I will definitely be back!

    Kendra from The Flower Hazard

  8. Nature studies is my kids favorite subject. My 11 year old of course thinks he is an expert. Of course he isn't there is so much to learn.

  9. These are great!! I haven't found a part 2 either.

  10. What great resources you have found. You might also want to check out the book at (it is also free). I would love it if you would share at my sharing party at Thank you!

  11. Thank you!! I hope you will come back next week and share again!

  12. Great post and such an important topic! Thanks for sharing.
    Marcia :)


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