The Bird Journal

Bird Journal 1My All Time Favorite Elementary School Project

Making a bird journal with my oldest daughter in her elementary years was, without a doubt, my favorite and most memorable project.  Her journal, which she filled to the very last page with drawings, writings, and pictures, is the most treasured keepsake I have of our early homeschooling years.  It’s such a simple thing to do, but the rewards are priceless. 

Here are 5 reasons why I like it—  

  1. It preserved her handwriting at that time, and I love to look back and see how far she’s come!
  2. It preserved samples of her writing with all the phonetic “souding out” mistakes and cute sayings she used at that age.
  3. It preserved many of her best drawings at that age. 
  4. The drawing practice for the journal increased her ability to “see” things in nature that she had not ever noticed before.  I can see her drawing skills improve throughout the journal. (Note: I did the journal in conjuction with Drawing With Children by Mona Brooks.)
  5. She still remembers the birds! Today, over 5 years later, we seldom see a bird she cannot name. 

 So now I’m starting a Bird Journal with #2, and she’s already looking up a lot more J

We have a large feeder in our backyard and we’ve already had several visitors this Spring.  Our trouble is keeping food in the feeder-see my post Summer Showdown 2009. This week she has seen a Yellow Warbler, a Robin, 2 Tufted Titmice, a few Mockingbirds, and a Mourning Dove.

Bird Journal 8


Bird Journal 5

 Bird Journal 6

 With my oldest I had purchased a cheap, spiral bound sketch pad. It was akward to carry on field trips and got bent easily. This time, I made a bit of an investment and got a smaller, hardback sketch pad from Hobby Lobby.  We had purchased a set of binoculars from Eagle Optics a few years ago and they are still in great shape. 

Bird Journal 2

 This journal is light and compact. It’s perfect to take on nature walks, and best of all, according to the budding ornithologist, “it has a little pocket in the back to put stuff in !

Bird Journal 3


Bird Journal 9

Watch out Audobon, here she comes 🙂


  1. Great idea and great art book! A bird or gardening journal are natural ways to get kids to practice writing :).

  2. I love birds, and I love drawing them! Their little bodies are so delicate and graceful, it makes my hand feel graceful. Do you and your daughter still watch and draw birds?

    • Hi Jessica,
      Yes, we sure do! But we have to travel now to see any new ones. We’ve seen just about every bird there is to see in our neck of the woods. My daughter also has a nest collection of nests she has found: mockingbird, cardinal, sparrow, and house finch. They are amazing to look at up close.

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