Last fall, I was challenged to participate in the Sketchbook Project by Malyn Mawby, a friend in Australia I met through Twitter. I don’t really consider myself an artist, but I do think I am artistic at times, and I definitely have some creative tendencies. Also, I took a watercolor painting class one summer when I was in high school. The project sounded like fun, and I decided to give it a try.
Here is a video lets you take a look inside my sketchbook.
If you want to know more about the stories behind my sketchbook, you can visit the companion blog: Hope is the Thing with Feathers.
As you can see, my sketchbook took a decidedly space and science-y turn. Recently, I have been wondering how I could incorporate something like a Sketchbook Project into my classroom. I have also been inspired* by the book How to Be an Explorer of the World which I received during a literacy professional development session the summer of 2010.
Have you ever used a sketchbook or field journal as part of a science class? How did that work for you? I think many students would love this opportunity, but some of them would also feel very uncomfortable – especially ones who think they “can’t draw”. Perhaps it is something I could add in as a choice option so it is not absolutely required for everyone.
Another idea I had which is partially related is to have an explorer journal for each class. Students would take turns taking the journal home/throughout school and filling the pages with their discoveries and explorations of the world.
Have you tried anything like an explorer journal or a sketchbook project in your classroom? What were the results? Did students begin to look at the world in a new way? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas!