In this outdoor journaling activity, students spend time observing the natural environment and then answer one of three prompts on happiness, anxiety, or self-esteem.
Students will learn that spending time in nature can be an important component of mental health.
This outdoor activity can help break up the usual indoor routine.
The activity does not require a lot of preparation.
Students will learn how to recognize their feelings and emotions and how spending time in nature may improve their mental health.
The resource provides three different journal prompts. Teachers could use different prompts throughout the year or let students choose the prompt that they would like to write about.
Students should have some knowledge of ecosystem services. Teachers may consider giving a quick overview of the concept.
Some students may not want to share their journal responses in a group discussion.
Classes that do not have access to a nearby natural space could use this 360° rainforest video to give students an immersive nature experience inside the classroom before using the journal prompts.
Social studies classes could discuss how historically marginalized groups do not have the same access to green spaces as privileged groups do and how this could impact people's health.
In life skills, physical education, health, or advisory classes, students could come up with a plan or a goal for spending time in nature. Students could keep a weekly nature journal and see how spending time in nature makes them feel.