1st Edition

To Look Closely Science and Literacy in the Natural World

By Laurie Rubin Copyright 2013

    Whether it's a trickling stream, a grassy slope, or an abandoned rail line, the natural world offers teachers a wonderful resource around which to center creative, inquiry-based learning throughout the year. Nobody knows this better than veteran teacher Laurie Rubin. In To Look Closely: Science and Literacy in the Natural World , she demonstrates how nature study can help students become careful, intentional observers of all they see, growing into stronger readers, writers, mathematicians, and scientists in the process. Laurie invites you to join her class of twenty-one second graders as they visit a small stream in the woods behind a suburban elementary school, and she shares her reflections on class discussions, activities, and learning experiences. From setting a tone of inquiry-based thinking in the classroom to suggesting specific units of study for reading, writing, and science, Laurie guides teachers step-by-step through the basics of how to integrate the skills acquired through nature study into every subject. You will also discover all the ways this purposeful work nurtures green citizens who grow up determined to value and protect the natural environment. Filled with student journal entries, narratives, and poems inspired by experiences in the natural world, To Look Closely will inspire and encourage you to become a careful observer of your own sit spots outdoors and embrace nature study for a year-;or for whatever part of a year is possible for you. This book will change the way you view the world.

    Introduction Why Nature Study?; Chapter 1: Ten Tips for Getting Started on Nature Study; Chapter 2: Moments of Science; Chapter 3: A Year at the Stream—Autumn; Chapter 4: A Year at the Stream—Winter; Chapter 5: A Year at the Stream—Spring; Chapter 6: Literacy Through Nature Study—Reading; Chapter 7: Literacy Through Nature Study—Writing; Chapter 8: Creating Stewards of the Natural World; Postscript


    Laurie Rubin taught ?rst and second grades for twenty-three years in Ithaca, New York, where nature study became the heart of her curriculum. In addition to consulting and presenting on a variety of educational topics, including literacy and critical thinking skills, she continues to connect children to the natural world by teaching school- and community-based workshops. On the home front, her newest students are her granddaughters.

    As students increasingly plug in to smartphones and tablets, it is more important than ever to expose them to the outside world. If you aren’t sure how, then get your own copy of Laurie Rubin’s To Look Closely and begin your journey today. Your students across the grade levels will thank you for it! - MiddleWeb
    "This is a heartwarming and extremely practical guide that would be useful in any grade level." - VOYA 
    "Throughout the book, Rubin gives example after example of her students learning and growing and becoming scientists in their own right." - A Writer's Journal blog
    Informed, informative, superbly organized and presented, To Look Closely is very highly recommended for Natural Studies school curriculums and supplemental reading lists.  - Wisconsin Bookwatch