Educators use the concept of different learning styles when creating lessons and activities to reach groups of diverse learners. The Naturalist, or natural learner, is one of seven different learning styles derived from Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences, which claimed people have different aptitudes for learning. Natural learners enjoy exploring nature and observing natural events, and rely on making observations and connections and relating to the world around them when learning.
Enjoys Exploring Nature
Natural learners enjoy collecting rocks, flowers, bugs and leaves, and are curious about anything that can be found in nature. They enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing and camping. They also enjoy studying different kinds of plants and animals. Engage the natural learner with projects that include researching and reporting on species of plants and animals. These students enjoy when the class lesson takes place outside.
Observes and Records
Natural learners are perceptive and observant. They have the patience and desire to observe the world around them and record what they see. These students make great record keepers for group projects and can be meticulous in their note-taking. Natural learners may enjoy keeping a science notebook that includes observations of the natural world, records of their collections and entries about their outdoor activities.
Makes Connections and Identifies Patterns
The observations natural learners make include details about patterns and changes in their environment. These can be subtle changes that most other students may not notice, such as the slight change in color or texture of leaves or blades of grass before and after rain, or the differences in the shape or number of clouds in the sky on different days.
Interested in Meteorology and Astronomy
Natural learners are often interested in meteorology and astronomy. They enjoy learning about the stars and planets, and may want to research and observe eclipses, meteor showers and the changes in the night sky at different times of the year. The natural learner would enjoy being the classroom weather reporter, as she can watch for patterns, check her observations against weather reports and share this information with the class.
Copyright 2011 T. Lynn Wolf