The Hike The Nature Book List

This charming picture book details the adventure of three friends on their quest to explore their local forest. Wren, El, Hattie and their dog Bean run through the beautifully illustrated pages of this book on their outdoor hike of discovery. An interesting feature in this book is the personal sketchbook of one of the characters which will delight and reinforce observation skills, art, drawing, and journaling activities. Scientific learning is also provided with labels and a glossary. Get ready for an enthusiastic response to go outside and take a hike after reading this engaging story for preschool and kindergarten aged children.

Educator notes:

  • This book can be used as part of an overall nature unit or as part of preparation for a field trip or hike in various outdoor settings.
Author: Alison Farrell Illustrator: Publication year: 2019 Publisher: Chronicle Books LLC ISBN: 9781452174617 Number of pages: 56 pages NAAEE: Strand 1: Questioning, Analysis, and Interpretation Skills Find At Your Library


Backpack Explorer: On the Nature Trail: What Will You Find?  books

What better way to engage young outdoor adventurers than with their very own guidebook! This field guide provides hands-on learning with special sections on the identification of trees, flowers, frogs, insects, animal tracks and more. Forest trail tips combined with fun interactive activities and games serve to pique the curiosity of young minds on the trail of exploring nature. Activities include using items found in nature to make a musical instrument, works of art, and even creating a personalized and unique adventure trail map.

Educator notes:

  • Book features checklists for nature identification, games and activities, and includes a mini magnifying glass and stickers for complete engagement and fun in the outdoors.
Author: Kathleen Yale Illustrator: Oana Befort and Kimberly Storey Publication year: 2018 Publisher: Storey Publishing ISBN: 9781612129013 Number of pages: 48 pages NAAEE: Strand 2: Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems Find At Your Library
Topic: Nature, Hike, Nature Observation, Trail Walk, Nature Guides, Outdoor Games/Activities, Nature Crafts Age: Primary (K-3) Active Learning Strategy: Nature Walk/Hike

Topic:  Nature Observation

Age: Preschool to 3rd

Active Learning Strategy: Nature Walk/Hike and Nature Journaling

Type: Whole Group Exercise

Title: Let's Go on a Hike!

Learning Objectives: The student will:

  • Observe and explore outdoor spaces
  • Learn about and comment on details of trees, plants, and/or animals
  • Share these observations with peers through journal writing or drawing 
  • Connect observations to a text and plan for future learning and exploration



This activity involves students going on a walk or hike in a natural environment and using their senses to observe and explore. Observations will create the opportunity to learn and interact with nature. Students will be provided time to discover individually and with other members of their class and to record and draw in their nature journals. This outdoor experience and exercise will help them connect to the content and theme (nature/discovery) of the paired texts, and can be used as a building block of a larger nature based curriculum.



  • Copies of both texts
  • Individual nature journals - these can be basic notebooks or handmade by students


  • Make any advance arrangements for a field trip as necessary, especially if off site.
  • List talking points on particular habitats, geography, native plants and animals with examples for discussion. It may be helpful to provide expectations so that students can be prepared, especially if outdoor activities are not commonplace.
  • Have children make their own nature journals, if desired. These journals will serve to extend the learning process and encourage further observation and exploration of natural environments.

Direct Instruction:

  1. The Librarian and/or educator will read The Hike by Alison Farrell aloud to students. Group discussion will follow along with an introduction to the outdoor setting to be explored, what type of observations are likely and general expectations of the trip.
  2. In small groups or individually, students will read On the Nature Trail. This book will serve as their personal field guide and educator may choose an activity that the group will do together in the field.

Guided and Independent Practice:


Lead discussion involving comparison of general or specific nature observations. This can be done on the trail by pointing out interesting finds and also after the hike or field trip to reflect on observations and discoveries. Topics can include leaves, animal tracks, butterflies, clouds, and so many other things. Connecting to the local environment will deepen the knowledge building of the children's own, observable natural world. Hiking and observation activities also lend themselves well to using a K-W-L chart which can be done on a whiteboard or in general discussion. Colored printables, student art or other colored pictures could be used to create a bulletin board or mural display. Allow the children to discuss and explain what they have observed, where they saw it, and what they learned or would like to know more about. Seasonal changes can also be a great discussion and learning topic, perhaps even revisiting the same hike at a different time of the year.




This activity can be adapted in so many different ways and with different literature texts. As part of a larger curriculum about nature and eco literacy, this activity is a wonderfully engaging introduction to various natural settings and the native flora and fauna. The sensory portion is key, in my opinion, to connect children with nature, and to encourage observation skills, curiosity, and the excitement to explore and learn.