Charlotte Mason Monday {snapshots} Water Birds, Nature Journaling, and some ideas for Picture Study

We have had so much fun learning about birds.  We studied all through the Winter with Backyard Birds, then moved into Birds of Prey and now are finishing a small unit study on Water Birds (Water Fowl).  There are so many different types of birds to learn about and study, we have just narrowed it down to a few and enjoyed the journey.  What a wonderful time of growth in our love of nature and appreciation of God’s amazing creation!  Birds are so incredible!
This post is done in {snapshot} style… here’s a peak at our past week!

Visiting Water Birds at a Beautiful Wetland Sanctuary


Nature Journaling ~ Water Birds

Alex’s Heron page

What happens when you give a bit too much creative licence to a 10-year-old boy…

Alex’s “Ducks” page

Simon’s page, illustration is from Draw Write Now, and Acrostic poem beneath.

Copywork, poetry/rhymes for Geese.

Combining narrating a short poem with Nature Study (above), and copywork of poetry (below).

Audrey’s Good page (again, Draw Write Now  helped us!)


Audrey’s Ducks Nature Journal page.

Ideas for Copywork:

Poem for ‘geese’.

Rhymes for ‘Goose’.

Enjoying Picture Study and Art Appreciation

We absolutely love Robert Bateman’s Books in our home.  I highly recommend his book “The World of Robert Bateman” for use in the home(school).  We have used it for both Nature Study and Picture Study.

Here is an example of the narratives in the book:

“Snow Geese” by Robert Bateman

How we do a (simple) Picture Study with realist paintings of nature:

1. I tell the children the name of the painting and artist and show them the painting.
2. We read the corresponding narrative/description from the artist as the children continue to observe the painting.
3. I ask the children what they see, what they first noticed, what they like about the painting.  We talk about the mood or feeling of the painting and what the animals (birds in this case) might be doing/thinking/feeling.  We also look for interesting things that might not be obvious at first.  For instance, in this painting below, there is a little floating feather on the bottom right.  Bateman talks about how this feather has come from the bottom left Gull who is preening at dusk.
4. The children often answer this simple statement, “Like it/love it/hate it”.  I have no idea where we go this… but it often stimulates good conversation.
5. For our study of birds, I would often show the children 1-4 paintings of the same type of bird and ask them to identify a favourite painting and tell why it was their favourite.

 Other Paintings we used:

Other Resources:

Watching Birds by naturalist Jim Arnosky was a great library find this week.  The two pictures on the left are two-page spreads from the book.  We also enjoyed several living books for our study of Loons, Swans, Ducks, and Herons.

A Few Links:

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