Nature Walks, Journaling and River Otters

There is a pretty good chance I’m writing this post solely to talk about my kids. Fair warning.

Around where I live, there are quite a few nature walks. The kind with the boardwalks that go through a bunch of pine scrub and offer various views on sable palms and pine trees; the only wildlife you see are squirrels and spiders. No worries though. My girls love squirrels and spiders.

Today we tried something new while walking. My four-year-old is just learning to write, so I gave her a small notebook and told her to journal her walk. Whenever we saw something interesting, she was to stop and draw a picture of it. Interesting to an adult and interesting to a child are two very different things.

She's written "palm frond" after drawing a picture of one.

My point– A few months ago I read this blog post by Steven Hurley. He takes his students out for regular walks. When I first read it, I thought it was interesting, but after “thinking it through,” I realized I couldn’t take my kids on the kinds of walks he was talking about and never thought anymore about it. But today I wonder…

Could I create the same sense of curiosity and observation in my middle school students as I did with my own kids?

Could walking do this?

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