naturalistic observation

Naturalistic Observation

  • Observe a group of students in their natural setting.It can be a toddler group, a preschool class, or an elementary school class. It should be in a fairly unstructured activity, such as playtime, physical education, recess, or lunch time.Can have more than one activity during this time period.
  • Do this for at least one hour.
  • Take notes in a structured format. For example, if you are looking for specific behaviors, such as the behaviors noted in the text, write whenever and how you observe those behaviors.Be detailed.
  • Write a 2-4 page typed and double-spaced paper describing your observations. Use the following format, including the indicated information:

Format for Paper

Your Name

Date of Observation; Time of Observation


Age(s) of Children

Activity of Children

Describe the developmental level, in regard to social and emotional level, expected for children that age.

Describe the activity(ies) that occurred during the observation and how much interaction was needed by staff—just an overview of what was required of the children.

Describe your observations of their behavior relative to expectations.

Give your conclusions and what you have learned from this observational experience.For example, did it change the way you view children of that age?



Description of Developmental Level


Overview of the Activities observed


Discussion of your specific observations


Discussion of your conclusions and what you have learned from this experience.


All required information is provided


Class Presentation


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