SPARK! Nature Observation & Journaling Program

SPARK! works in collaboration with artists, classroom teachers, university staff, school administration, and volunteers to ensure that the arts are an essential part of every school day. SPARK! is a national partnership site for the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child Initiative, a growing network of communities working to transform learning and ensure access to the arts for every public school student. Learn more about SPARK! here.

The Montana Natural History Center is one of SPARK!’s collaborating organizations. Through SPARK, we can offer programming that bridges scientific study with journaling and illustration. MNHC’s SPARK Artists are available for classroom residencies. Teachers can expect to work with our staff and artists to develop a multi-day journaling and observation curriculum that centers on scientific illustration or sit spot journaling.

Available Programming: 
Science Journaling through Nature Observation with Nancy Seiler ($250 per class): takes place in the classroom and in the school yard. Ideally through 4 visits:

  1. Introduction and Observation Practice (classroom)
  2. Drawing What You See and Labeling/Writing Descriptive Sentences (classroom)
  3. Composing a Journal Page (classroom or school yard)
  4. School yard “field trip” to put all pieces together and create a complete scientific journal entry

About Nancy Seiler:
Nancy has taught children the importance of observation through her nature journaling and experimental drawing and painting classes in her studio since 2003. Nancy has also taught adults botanical illustration and nature journaling at The Montana Natural History Center, Yellowstone Association Institute, and The University of Montana’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (MOLLI).

Nancy Seiler encourages children to observe the world around them through nature journaling. Kids learn to focus more on the subject than the results. Nancy believes that when a student can begin to let go of trying to create the “perfect drawing” they will begin to see improvement and want to continue to draw and observe. Nancy also teaches experimental painting with Golden fluid acrylic paint and mediums (gels, pastes). Kids learn to take creative risks and become more comfortable when they see exciting results.

Interested in signing up your classroom?
Contact Lisa Bickell at 406.327.0405 or lbickell [at] MontanaNaturalist [dot] org.