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The Handbook of Nature Study
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The Handbook of Nature Study

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  1,221 ratings  ·  42 reviews
'A matchless handbook for decades, this classic has been the natural history bible of countless teachers and others who seek information about their natural environment. Written originally for those elementary school teachers who knew little of common plants and animals, and even less about earth beneath their feet and the skies overhead, this book is for the most part as ...more
Paperback, 912 pages
Published July 3rd 1986 by Comstock Publishing (first published 1911)
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4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,221 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Carling Barker
Sep 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Currently reading this with my kids who LOVE nature and we are all going to start our own field guide books to keep track of what we have learned & seen :)
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best nature books for kids and adults! Great resource for parents, homeschoolers, or nature explorers!
Mary Mimouna
One of the best resources available for parents and homeschoolers, and primary teachers who are looking for useful, practical ideas in teaching about plants, animals, earth, and sky.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book has already been a valuable resource, even in our beginning nature study. I look forward to using it more as we discover more!
Mar 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I adore this book. I haven't finished reading it yet because it is the kind of book that is best read in little snippets, but I can't say enough good about what I have read so far. The book is a compilation of essays/lessons written by a female professor at Cornell back I the early 1900s. I love the old fashioned language and the author's unrestrained love for the natural world which spills over into everything she writes. Sometimes she is really funny even though she is not trying to be because ...more
May 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature
Another wonderful book gifted to me by a wonderful sister. This is an extensive nature guide for the layman. I believe it was originally published in 1939 and Cornell University had something to do with it. Her writing on nature is witty and informative; I seem to recall a particularly funny description of a badger. The book is broken up by animal, and includes questions for review for those using it as a study guide or textbook.
Parks and Education
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A timeless classic that has been the preferred reference material for many decades among those seeking to delve into nature study. Originally written in 1911, Anna Botsford Comstock sought to inform other educators on how to incorporate nature study into their classrooms and cultivate a desire in their students to observe the natural world around them. Despite its age, The Handbook of Nature Study continues to be a source of relevant information on both the living and non-living specimens that t ...more
Journey FAITH
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a very detailed complete book of nature, great resource!
Nelleke Plouffe
Sep 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I use the Handbook of Nature Study as a reference for our homeschool Nature Study. The ideas contained in the introduction alone are worth the price of the book. It amazes me how valuable the nature information in this book is, even in this age of the internet. I think it's because the author loved nature. This is more than mere information. This is a living book with perspective, wisdom, and interesting detail.
I would like to see this book updated with better binding (hardcover would be nice)
Laura Rogers
Excellent handbook for studying nature with your children (or by yourself) - I guess the title is appropriate, eh?
It might be a little tedious to those who don't like to or won't read the introduction. The beginning includes lots of lofty philosophy about how to do nature study correctly - all of it excellent, but non-bookish people might balk at the old fashioned language and sheer volume of text to wade through. It is worth the read. Apply the principles and you will have an award winning natu
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teacher-books
This is a great resource for nature study with children. It prepares the teacher to guide her students in developing obvservation skills via hands on exploration of nature. What I love about it is that the author doesn't come across as being didactic, but writes as someone who comes alongside the reader to share in the joy of discovery. The preface of the book, written directly to the teacher, is worth the price of the book. In it, she discusses the importance of nature study, not only for the b ...more
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Definitely a great book. The way I read it is reading Part I to learn the concepts of teaching nature study and using the rest of the book as a reference. When kids are young, it is useless to feed them with knowledge. What is more important is to inspire their curiosity in learning the nature. I take my kid out for a walk and encourage discovery by herself, and reference back the parts of book that are related. I used a pretty old version, so pictures are black and white. I wish I could find a ...more
Chris Gager
Sep 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Unlikely that this is the book I'm looking for but at least it's old enough to have been on the family bookshelves in the 1950's. I found my first nature book there and found it to be reasonably kid friendly. The book I'm referring to was not 7-900 pages and was hardbound and bigger than an encylopedia volume and may have been only about animals. I don't remember. Very engrossing... Date read is approximate.
Jun 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
This is a classic. This is my new favorite book for Biology. I need to get a copy of this. This book will now be our family's scholor book to teach biology.

This book is descriptive and answers all the questions we could ask about nature. This book is black and white and certainly not entertaining. I'm trying to remove the books out of my life that are entertaining and provide only "good or fair" reading material. This book will actually teach us about nature and biology.
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
While I didn't exactly read it cover to cover yet, it's just one of those books you know that while it would take years to "finish", it will be used and used often. The introduction on how to teach nature study is phenomenal and necessary as the entire book is a necessity for every parent who wants their child to have a great relationship with nature.
Feb 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nature-resources
I am in love with this book. It is a lot of information and can take a bit of time to figure how to use it and go through the information. I use it as background for me so I know how to guide things in our nature and science studies. It's been a staple in our home school since we first started over 10 years ago.
Sep 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education, re-read
I just got this book before school started. I had heard and read so much about it, I had to have it. I'm glad I own it now. What an invaluable reference for our nature studies. I have caught myself going back to it again and again long after a lesson is over just to read some more.
Jun 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nature-study
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book. It is our go-to book for everything nature. We have a physical copy as well as the e-book (for taking out side on hikes). We will use this for many years to come. A great investment!
I'm starting the Green Hour Challenget and she directs folks to view or download the book here

Meredith Henning
This is a staple in our home school :)
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
We have used this book every year of our home education love it best resource book
Mar 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
We use this in our homeschool but it is also very interesting just to read for the sake of reading it. If anyone loves nature than I highly recommend this book.
Aug 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
love this book. a valuable resource for learning about the world around you--and then passing it on to your children, with lots of ideas on how to go about it.
Carrie Rushoway
Aug 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! It makes easy an awesome reference book. I think all people who work with children should have it.
Jul 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education
This is an expensive book but readers get a BANG for their buck. By far the best science/nature book available- IMHO (of course!).
Mar 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
I actually have only read bits and pieces of this as needed! Very informative!
Apr 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great go-to resource for nature study.
Sep 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book should be more popular. I found it through a homeschool group. It is answers many of the questions that young children have about nature.
Jun 03, 2010 is currently reading it
I'm trying to read it online and follow a discussion on my yahoo group. So far a little behind, but I'm working to catch up.
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: math, nature-study
We use this for school. It is full of great information for science and nature study. This is really a reference book. Recently, we have learned about wasps, spiders, and other invertebrates.
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“Nature-study cultivates in the child a love of the beautiful . . . a perception of color, form and music . . But more than all, nature-study gives the child a sense of companionship with life out-of-doors and an abiding love of nature.” 1 likes
“MUCH of the naughtiness in school is a result of the child’s lack of interest in his work, augmented by the physical inaction that results from an attempt to sit quietly.” 0 likes
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