Combining Hymn Study With Nature Journals


How Great Thou Art

“Nature study as a subject is one which should be approached with great reverence, for in dealing with birds, animals, flower and all other forms of natural life, we are perhaps, nearer to the Creator than in any other branch of science; for the natural world is the expression of God’s personality in a form that is within the reach of all of us to comprehend in some measure. And is not the natural world one of the greatest proofs that there is a God?” PNEU article, Dowton

I recently read an article online that made me consider making nature sketching a higher priority in our homeschool (See article link below). It mentioned that artists see things differently than those who do not try to replicate shape, color, and texture. Leonardo da Vinci said, “The artist sees what others only catch a glimpse of.” I believe this to be true because as an artist myself, I’ve discussed this numerous times with my husband. He’s pointed out that I notice things (particularly in nature) that he simply doesn’t see. “Observant” is the word he sometimes uses to describe me . 🙂

I want to cultivate in my children a habit of observance and amazement when they look at our created world. I want them to look at God’s creation and really SEE it! So many people today are in such a hurry that they never really notice the beauty, complexity, or amazing evidence for the existence of God in their surroundings. Sketching forces you to look at details and begin to appreciate the complexity of the smallest of things in God’s creation. I’ve often said, if I struggle to merely draw or paint it, how awesome is our God who created it!

This school year we are going to combine hymn study with nature journals to help us see God in our surroundings.

Using the lyrics of the hymn, “How Great Thou Art”, we will take a portion of each verse and base our nature studies on the topic mentioned. For example, verse 1 mentions the stars. We will do a night time nature walk to see the stars and then draw in our journals something that we noticed. “I hear the rolling thunder” is also in verse 1 so we will take time to study the weather and journal about clouds or rain or the power of storms. You get the idea…..


How Great Thou Art

Verse 1:

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

Verse 2:
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.


There are many great resources online to help with drawing and creating nature journals. I’ve pinned several on this Pinterest board that are very helpful to me: JOURNALS

This is the very interesting article that I mentioned above which helped encourage me to seriously consider making nature sketching a higher priority in our homeschool.

Why You Should Stop Taking Pictures On Your Phone and Learn to Draw

Note to Mom: Do this with your children. 🙂  Don’t make it an assignment for them only. Get your own journal and draw, write, paint, glue, tear paper, and enjoy this time together exploring God’s world.

I hope this is helpful to someone else and that you will seriously consider adding nature journaling to your homeschool week!

Nature CM


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4 Responses

  1. Misty Inmon

    Wow, I’ve been thinking along the same lines & am so grateful I came across this. Please keep on inspiring us, u are extraordinary!!

    • amanda

      Glad it’s helpful to you, Misty 🙂

  2. I like this idea. That hymn “How Great Thou Art” is so rich.

    • amanda

      Thank you, Elisabeth 🙂 I hope it works out as well as I think it will.