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Crew Resource: Observing the Natural World

Learning Target

I can describe how plant life changes daily and over time by observing and documenting the changes over the course of a month.

Overview of the Activity

Observing the natural world helps us gain an understanding of how living things change over time and respond to their environment. Trees and plants may look stationary and unmoving, but if you watch closely you see new things happen in every moment, just like our lives!  

  1. Pick something that you will be able to see every day from the same exact spot (preferably from a window or a plant in your house).
  2. Stand in a spot and make a note of it. You’ll need to remember exactly where you were so you can come back to this place again and at the same time of day. 
  3. Take a photo.
  4. Write down observations. Notice the weather, the shape of the tree, the leaves, the buds, the bark, any animal life.
  5. Repeat every day for a month (or for another agreed upon time).


Camera, pencil, paper

Suggested Questions

  • Describe one big shift that happened.
  • What was one thing that surprised you about your tree?
  • What did you enjoy most about observing your tree every day?
  • What was challenging about observing your tree every day?
  • Share any personal connections or insights you gained through this process.


  • Ensure full participation for students who have limited access to greenery
    • Pair up with another Crew member or the Crew leader to share photos
    • Encourage all greenery (tuft of grass in the sidewalk, a tree, fresh herbs, house plant)
  • Have students share observations at mid-month and end of month
  • Multi-day lesson, over a month


Create a compilation of photos and present your findings, personal connections or insights.

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