Explore the natural world right in your own neighbourhood!

Nature Journal

spiral notebook, pencil

Print off this nature observation sheet to draw and write about the plants, insects, animals and other forms of nature that you encounter in your backyard or even observe from a window. 

This activity is great for artistic creativity and ecological literacy, and you can continue to add Nature Journal entries through different seasons!

Sound Safari

Red-winged Blackbird Identification, All About Birds, Cornell Lab ...

Sometimes you can’t see animals, but usually you can hear them even when they are hiding! What kinds of sounds – animal and other – will you hear in your backyard? In this listening activity, you will have the chance to recognize and identify sounds that you hear in your environment.

Use this Sound Safari worksheet to guide you on your Sound Safari. You may find it useful to set a timer for 2 minutes so that you know how long to listen.

Did you hear something interesting, but don’t know who it came from? NatureWatch and The Audubon Society have resources that may help you to identify which backyard neighbour is singing to you!

Marvellous Monarchs

Monarch Butterfly

Join the Essex Region Conservation Authority’s Gina Pannunzio for a virtual talk about an amazing insect and its home: the Monarch Butterfly and Milkweed! Use the PDF presentation to follow along.

Before the presentation, use the Know/Wonder/Learn chart to write down what you know about Monarchs and what you wonder (or want to know) about them. Afterwards, finish the worksheet off with your favourite new fact that you learned!

Also, check out the cool videos of a Monarch caterpillar transforming into it’s Chrysalid stage and then eclosing (or coming out of it) as a beautiful butterfly!

More resources are available through Journey North and Monarch Watch.

Nature ID Bingo

bingo board with animals

Keep track of the things you see while out on a walk or from your window! This bingo will help you to identify the plants and animals that are emerging for the warmer weather that comes with the beginning of spring. Feel free to mark off the spaces in one day, or over the course of several! Can you spot them all?

magnifying glass

Conservation Detectives

Are you a Conservation Detective? Print off this worksheet and watch the Conservation Detectives video made by our friends and program sponsors, ENWIN, to see if you can spot all the ways to save water and electricity in your home.

Build a Habitat!

An illustrated fox surrounded by a squirrel, a rabbit, a mouse, insects, berries, water, and a den

When you’re hungry, you probably head to the refrigerator for a snack. If you’re thirsty, you might grab a drink from the sink. And when you’re tired, you go to sleep in your bedroom. But what do animals do when they are hungry, thirsty, or tired?

Living things need to live in a place where all of their needs are met. This place is called a habitat, it is an organism’s home and provides all the things the organism needs, including food, water, and shelter. In this activity, you will brainstorm what a habitat needs in order to be perfect for a certain organism, and try your hand at creating your own.

Water Quality

We all have a role to play in protecting our water sources. Join Dr. Katie Stammler to learn about the harmful algal blooms threatening to suffocate our Great Lakes, and what we can do to stop it! Use this worksheet to record what you’ve learned as you watch Dr. Stammler’s video.

Creature Spotlight: Eastern Screech Owls

Grey Eastern Screech Owl perched on a branch

Join ERCA’s Environmental Educator, Sam Keller, as we shine a spotlight on Eastern Screech Owls. Discover where they live, what they eat, what they look like, and how to listen for these fascinating, small predators.

Before the presentation begins, use the Know/Wonder/Learn chart to write down what you know about Eastern Screech Owls and what you wonder (or want to know) about them. Afterwards, finish the worksheet off with your favourite new fact that you learned, and enjoy this Eastern Screech Owl colouring page!

Unbe-LEAF-able Parts of Plants

colourful leaf rubbings

Spring time brings lots of new plant life around us to see, smell, and study! Follow these instructions to make a leaf rubbing in the space provided, or simply draw the plants you find using this Plant Study worksheet. Use the Unbe-LEAF-able Parts of a Plant guide to scientifically label your artwork. Then, add this plant study sheet to your Nature Journal!