Comments 4

Nature Study Demonstration: Lily by Deborah Dobbins

Last spring, Margaret demonstrated the nature study process for us. This demonstration took less than one hour.

Journal writing includes the common name of the species, the scientific name, the date and the student’s initials. Students may include other notes such as the location of the nature walk.

Margaret began by painting the stem using a thin line of green which she mixed using yellow and blue watercolors.

 Margaret then outlined the shapes of the lily’s petals and leaves. It’s important to capture the correct size, shape, and color of the specimen.

 Margaret added the stamen.


 Margaret filled in her petals using a mixture of red and red- violet.

 Margaret paused for further observation of her lily after adding the pistil.


Pollen color was created by mixing a combination of yellow and brown.

 “Dots” of pollen were added on the petals.


Margaret’s final touch was green at the center of her flower.


©2012 Deborah Dobbins

Deborah teaches 2nd grade Nature Study classes at Perimeter School in Duluth, GA.  Margaret is currently a 3rd grade student at Perimeter School. Special thanks to Margaret for her enthusiastic participation in our demonstration.

This entry was posted in: Philosophy


Carroll Smith has spoken on various topics related to Charlotte Mason. Currently he teaches at Gardner-Webb University and enjoys working with children, teachers, college students, and Charlotte Mason Institute. He was a teacher and a principal for 21 years before coming to Gardner-Webb University where he has been for six years. Having grown up in eastern North Carolina, he attended East Carolina University for his undergraduate degree and his master's in school administration. He completed his terminal degree and wrote his dissertation on Charlotte Mason at Virginia Tech. Carroll enjoys reading, gardening, and discussing ideas with friends. He and his wife, Andra, and their two young adult college-age children, Corban and Anna, enjoy living, working and playing in North Carolina.


  1. Deborah Dobbins says

    We observed day-lilies growing on campus during our nature walk. Margaret had a Stargazer Lily in front of her during our nature study in the classroom.

  2. Jenny Garrett says

    Would you require more of older children, such as my 5th grade girl? Is there an example that we could check out of the library, such as DaVinci on nature studies? I home school, and would love to know how often you would encourage nature studies.

  3. Deborah Dobbins says

    Jenny, thank you for your questions. Older children may include poetry in their nature study sketchbooks. Your child may enjoy looking at books on botanical illustrations such as The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady by Edith Holden which records the changing of the seasons through beautiful paintings of birds, butterflies, bees, and flowers. Charlotte Mason says that the use of naturalist’ books at this stage is to give the child delightful glimpses into the world of wonder he lives in, to reveal the sort of things to be seen by curious eyes, and fill him with desire to make discoveries for himself. Our students have monthly nature study walks. They may bring their sketchbooks and watercolors outdoors or continue observing their specimen in the classroom.

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