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The Nature Connection: An Outdoor Workbook for Kids, Families, and Classrooms Paperback – July 21, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A practical, engaging and inexpensive guide that makes nature study fun and relevant to everyday existence, The Nature Connection is a book that will get the entire family involved in discovering all the exciting things taking place outside the house.

From the Back Cover

Nature Detectives Wanted!
Step outside and look around! You'll notice many curious things you never knew were happening, no matter where you live. Full of fun ideas for what to look for and do every month of the year and with plenty of room to record what you find, The Nature Connection is your guide to exploring and discovering the wonders of the natural world all around you.

"In a time when most kids know more about the Amazon rain forest than their own backyards, Clare Walker Leslie's terrific new book will open a whole new world." -- Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods

"What better way to go through the year than looking at and wondering about nature with your kids! A great activity book for budding naturalists." -- Elizabeth Kolbert, author, Field Notes from a Catastrophe

"If I could choose one person to be my child's Rachel Carson-esque grandmother, then I'd choose Clare Walker Leslie. But if Clare wasn't available in person, then I'd want my grandchildren to have this book." -- David Sobel, Director, Teacher Certification, Antioch University
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 8
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Storey Publishing, LLC (July 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1603425314
  • ISBN-13: 978-1603425315
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By BeachBrights VINE VOICE on October 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
Length: 3:20 Mins
I love children's craft/activity books that get kids outside (& teach them something!). This book is both fun and educational - a win, win combination for educators, families or classrooms.

I highly recommend this book. Please enjoy my amateur video review. I try to give you a good idea of what's inside the book so you can make your own decision to buy or not.

XOXO-
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I wasn't sure if this book would suit my needs since I'm not a parent or teacher, but it was fantastic. It was so informative and motivating and it's journal page options were an unexpected bonus. I bought this book for myself and I'm 32!
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Format: Paperback
I have often admired the nature sketches of Claire Walker Leslie. Her recent book for encouraging children to enjoy learning about nature is called The Nature Connection. I was so delighted to be sent a review copy, to utilize with my children. I have often wanted to implement more nature study into our homeschool studies, but often needed a bit more inspiration. The Nature Connection is divided into twelve months of learning ideas. Claire Walker Leslie has found a way to integrate many subjects, such as math, science, language arts, and more, into nature studies into this one resource. For example, for the month of October, there are project ideas of planting bulbs for spring, art ideas to make with leaves and seeds, and literature recommendations. One fun suggestion was to play "Pooh sticks" on a bridge. This activity would lead children to read The House at Pooh Corner by A.A.Milne. This book adds zest to any nature study program and gives Moms an opportunity to suggest fun projects rather than simply asking their children to sketch. It is so much fun to pack a backpack with snacks, sketch books, pencils, field guides, The Nature Connection, and to explore one's neighborhood or the park. Though this book is recommended for ages 8-12, I have found it to be very adaptable for toddlers and up. If you finding yourself needing some creative inspiration for nature studies, I highly recommend using The Nature Connection.

I was sent a complimentary review copy from Storey Publishing, in exchange for an honest review!
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This looks like a fantastic book. Well written, child and family friendly, but there is one problem. The sections for January, February, and March repeat while all of April and part of May is completely missing. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem. Mistakes happen. I ordered a replacement and Amazon was great. I swiftly received a replacement...with the same problem. Yup. The book runs normally through page 136. The next page is 105-128. The page after that is 161. Really hoping the second replacement book runs in proper order this time.
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This book is best for young (4-7) or kids that are inexperienced with nature. I tried to use it with my 8 year old daughter that has had lots of natural history/ecology/botany/zoology and it was just too simplistic for her. It is set up so that you write in the book, which I don't like usually and this book isn't spiral bound so it is a bit hard to write in anyway. I'd prefer a suggestion to just start a different journal - guess they were trying to make it easier. Lots of good ideas for those that need them though!
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Format: Paperback
This book is wonderful! From the first page, I knew this book was what I looking for. First, she explains why we study nature. I agree with her reasoning that we need to understand that we are connected to this world we live in and we need to take care of it. Her desire, which she makes clear, is that children would grow to love being outside and begin to see all that is around them every day. I would also add one more reason why we study nature which is that God created this world and in realizing how amazing His creation is, we realize how amazing God is. His creation can't help but point to Him. This reason is the most important to me, but as the parent and teacher I can share that with my children when we begin our study.

Part One of this book is about How to Be a Naturalist. Ms. Walker explains how to look, what to write down, what you will need, and how to record observations. Part Two goes on to talk about the Sky, weather, and seasons. There are wonderful hand drawn illustrations and lots of great information in this section. The third part is a month by month guide which gives several activities for each month and relevant information for that time of year.

How will I use this book? I will get a copy for each of my children and myself. I will begin the school year going through part one and helping my children learn how to observe nature and record their observations. Storey Publishing also has a page where you can download printable copies of the pages which you would need duplicates of to make a nature journal on their website. After we've put their nature journals together, we'll start in October or November with the monthly activities and divide them amongst the weeks. We typically study science one-two days a week.
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Really beautiful and lots of information + gorgeous sketches!! It makes us want to get outside and explore! :) I am using this book with my kindergarden / 1st grader as part of our homeschool curriculum. We are adapting it to her needs, but really its best for probably 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade. In a year or two when my daughter fully grows into this book we'll be able to do so much more with it - in the meantime, though, we are still loving it. My ONLY complaint is that the author seems to be from the far north east, so her seasonal activities do not match Texas weather at all. For example, she focuses on water in the summer whereas we are saving that section for next spring because summer is SO dry here. And in September she focuses on things getting ready to hibernate, etc. whereas in Texas September is still high 90's outside. So this would be PERFECT for anyone in the north, but requires a bit of adapting if you're in the south. Not a big deal, but I do drop it one star. I wish she'd matched her calander of activities with a more "moderate" US climate that would not require SO MUCH modification for us southerners!
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