Use your blank mini journal to record observations about whatever interests you. Go outside and investigate nature firsthand!
If you prefer, get started by watching some amazing creatures up close on the video clips found here and make notes about what you see.
Or print out one of the activity mini journals, which focus your curiosity on a particular subject such as insect locomotion or spinning tops.
Have fun exploring!

Download and print the Mini Journal, fold it (see instructions), then observe!

Need more room? If you enjoyed these free mini journals, take a look at our full-sized versions: FL Field Journal and Young Observer’s Notebook. Lined pages for writing and open spaces for drawing will give you lots of space to record observations, sketches, and questions.

You can request free copies of these notebooks (courtesy of several donors) by responding to a brief survey.

Looking for more ideas? Download for free several investigations extracted from FL’s OBJECT LESSONS kits to use in the classroom.

Rectangle Investigations

Cracks Observations

Track Observations

Pileated Woodpecker (Quicktime movie, 880kb)

Harvestman (Quicktime movie, 660kb)

Salamander (Quicktime movie, 2.7mb)

Download and print the Insect Mini Journal, fold it (see instructions), then observe!

Watch the Western Conifer Seed Bug (Quicktime movie, 1mb)

Download the Insect Mini Journal (pdf, 112k)

Mini Journal folding instructions

Toothpicks to Tops mini journal.
For folding instructions, click here.

Toothpicks to Tops

A Bug at Breakfast (Quicktime movie)

Watch closely as this hungry katydid devours his breakfast. How does the insect's mouth work? Record your observations and further questions in your journal. Go outside and find more examples of arthropods eating. Share what you learn with others!




Download and print the Covid-19 Private Tracking MiniJournal, fold it (see instructions), then start keeping private track of your contacts without loading your phone with intrusive apps!

Download and print the Winter Mini Journal, fold it (see instructions), then observe!

Rectangle Investigations

Cracks Observations

Track Observations

Squirrel Gymnastics (Quicktime movie, 3.6mb)

Watch this squirrel scamper around, track its movements, and describe its actions. Here's a tip to help you out: did you know that the left and right arrow keys will backup or advance a Quicktime movie one frame at a time? Use this feature to slo-mo your way through the squirrel's gymnastics.

Gliding gull (Quicktime movie, 504kb)

Gliding flight in birds
Ever notice how some birds hold their wings out flat when they glide while others have their wings up in a "V"? Have a look at the gull movie. What do you notice about the gull's wing position?

You can make a paper bird from a 5" x 8" index card (or other heavy paper) to test the effect on gliding flight of wing position and the curvature of the wing itself. Gliding flight means that you hold the paper bird by its tail and let it drop (rather that throw it). See the patterns. Adding weights (staples or paper clips) to the body section may improve the flight.

Pigeons, crows, starlings, hawks and gulls are frequent gliders. Use a mini-journal to record your observations of these birds in gliding flight. Draw the position of the wings. Take note of the wind speed and direction. Does the bird glide with the wind or against it? If you see a bird that uses several different wing positions, try to figure out what it might be responding to.

Pileated Woodpecker