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Years 3 - 12

$13 / student

Learn how to create a nature journal using observational drawings

inspired by our native wildlife.


Get children involved in a hands-on, outdoor learning experience where students develop the creative skills needed to observe and sketch the aquatic, bird and animal life which live in and around Herdsman Lake. We start with a quick lesson on the fundamentals of art, and how to realistically draw what we actually see versus how we think things should look. The students will practice their observational and recording skills using pinned insect specimens inside the classroom, labelling their drawings skills as they go. Next, students bring their journals into the main area of the centre to draw our live animal exhibits, including frogs, lizards, and a long-necked turtle, adding any relevant written information about their habitat, colour, feeding habits, etc. From there we move outside, using scoop-nets to collect the tiny aquatic animals, which will be examined under a powerful magnification tool. This time students will practice sketching more quickly from microscopic creatures on the move. Then we’re off for a walk to explore and observe the surrounds, using a combination of ‘on-the-spot’ nature journaling and wildlife photography (as appropriate), which can be converted into drawings back at the centre. At the completion of the session, students can add final details to their journaling using simple research then participate in a ‘gallery walk’ of each other’s work.



Learned about fundamentals of art (line, shape, colour, tone and texture) and practiced various kinds of mark making.

Nurtured creativity and built their critical thinking and scientific skills.

Honed observational drawings skills (training the eye, using proportion and perspective, measuring)

Gained valuable knowledge on a variety of local animal species and wetland ecology.

Experimented with photography techniques and operating camera equipment.

Had some fun exploring, learning as they experience nature first-hand.



Duration: 2 ½ hours (10.00am-12.30pm or 12.00-2.30pm)

Cost: $13 per student (inc GST)

Minimum Charge: $325 (travel fee may apply for incursions)

Maximum Students: 60

Teachers/parents FREE

Groups are welcome to use facilities for self-guided activities up to 30mins before or after scheduled sessions

FREE education resources



Curriculum Links – Science, Art

Year 3 – ACAVAM111, ACSSU044

Year 4 - ACAVAM110, ACAVAM111, ACSSU072, ACSSU073, ACSIS071

Year 5 – ACAVAM115, ACSIS093

Year 6 - ACAVAM114, ACAVAM115, ACSSU094, ACSIS110

Year 7 - ACAVAM120, ACAVAM121, ACAVAM118, ACSSU111, ACSIS133

Year 8 - ACAVAM118, ACAVAM120, ACSIS148

Year 9 - ACAVAM128, ACAVAM125, ACAVAM126

Year 10 - ACAVAM128, ACAVAM125, ACAVAM126



If you need to cancel your environmental program booking, please provide at least 7 days’ notice so we can offer another group the opportunity to visit. Unless there are exceptional circumstances, if you do not provide 7 days’ notice, the minimum booking fee of $150 per class will apply. Schools that do not provide any notice of cancellation and fail to attend on the day, will be charged the full fee, as reflected by their booking for that day.

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