Encouraging your young scientists to notice the world around them


The Art of Noticing – a simple, effective way to get your young scientists observing.

  • The Art of Noticing is simply about noticing the things that catch your eye, and talking/writing about them.
  • You can do it anytime, anyplace, anywhere – it’s free and doesn’t need any resources other than a piece of paper and a pen.
  • You can do it with a collection of objects, a view from a window, a picture in a magazine, a video clip, on a stroll etc.
  • You can use one or all of your senses
  • List the things that you notice in a descriptive way and it will read like a poem!  Don’t tell them it’s a poem otherwise they try to make it rhyme!

Here’s one that I wrote whilst sitting on my friend’s sofa.

Peg doll leaning drunkenly on the mantelpiece
Elephants marching slowly across a plastic bag
Leveret cradled lovingly by its mother
Silent piano keys gathering dust
Rows of books waiting to be read
Pirate ship abandoned for the day, waiting for tomorrow’s marauders

Here’s another from a Y2 child after watching a trailer for BBC Dynasties https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWI1eCbksdE – if you’re using a video clip, watch it once, watch it again and take notes, watch it a final time and add detail.

Walking wildebeest in the sunlight.
Hyenas running across the hot sandy land.
Proud painted wolves leaping across the desert.
Scared hyenas stepping away from their enemy.
Small chimp playing in the soft dry sand.
Cold and frosty iceberg shining in the daylight.
Growling tiger stalking through the bamboo.
Staring orange tiger eyes glimmering in the light.
Cold Emperor penguins huddled together against the icy wind.
Wafting wildebeest tails moving from front to hind.
Fighting lions with hyenas by their side.
Screaming chimps getting ready to fight.
Blazing fires spreading across the land.
Cuddling tiger cubs keeping warm beside their mother.
Snapping crocodile attacking every animal he sees.
Watery land shining in the sun.
Proud lions climbing on tumbled down trees.

So get out into your garden, or look out of your window, and notice everything you can see – I’d love to hear what your young scientists observe.

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