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Nature's Notebook Activities
Explore Nature's Notebook materials created by the National Coordinating Office Staff and partners.
|Species Phenophase Photo Guides||
Phenophase Photo Guides are species-specific guides that provide a photo reference for each of the life cycle stages on the Nature's Notebook protocols. The National Coordinating Office is slowly working on creating useable guides that will eventually appear on our species profile pages. In the meantime, we invite you to help us by using our templates to create your own Phenophase Photo Guides. If you do make photoguides, please consider sharing them with us by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also wish to consider using our Phenophase Primer for Training and Education. This Primer includes photographic examples of sample species in each of the Nature's Notebook plant functional groups.
Templates for creating Phenophase Photo Guides
The National Coordinating Office has created Phenophase Photo Guide templates for you to use in your programs. There are editable PowerPoint templates for several of the functional groups we identify in our protocol. You can begin by viewing the Species Profile page and reviewing the details for your species. In the top left corner of the printable datasheet linked from the species page, you will find the corresponding functional group for your species of choice.
The blank templates include the full definitions as described in our protocol. You do not need to edit the definitions (see the image below), simply add photos of your individual example of the species where indicated. You may wish to add your logo at the top of the page. Each of the plant functional group templates can be downloaded from the list at the top of this page.
Please do not re-interpret the phenophase definition and display what you believe to be an abridged version containing the same meaning - it compromises data quality by introducing inconsistency across observers. See the details below for more information.
For some guidelines for creating the Phenophase Photo Guides from these templates, download this PDF document.
At this time these Phenophase Photo Guide templates are designed only for plants. However, if you wish to create Phenophase Photo Guides for the animals you may be observing please be sure to use the exact definitions for each of the phenophases found in our protocols.
A few things to keep in mind when creating your own Phenophase Photo Guides
|Introduction to Journaling & Phenology Observation||
Making observations in nature is a way to connect with your environment. If you enjoy spending time in a garden or natural space, taking some time to record what you observe can be a valuable exercise. Observational records collected through time allow you to remember what you saw, what species visited your space, what the temperature or weather conditions were on a particular date during a particular season, and much more. Ultimately, observations can become a critical addition to a scientific study about how things may be varying or changing through time.
This activity is best suited to learners in Grades 9-12 and adults. The purpose is to familiarize the student with the concept of making accurate and careful observations in nature, as a pre-cursor to participating in the Nature's Notebook citizen science program. The questions contained within this lesson are directly related to the protocols found in Nature's Notebook and suggest the types of things the program asks participants to pay attention to and record for science.
If you are working with younger audiences, you may wish to simplify this activity or provide them with an opportunity to record a subset of these things in a age-appropriate nature journal.
La actividad es disponible en Español tambien:
Observar la naturaleza es una manera de conectarse con el ambiente natural. Cuando disfrutas pasar tiempo en un jardín o espacio natural, puedes observar fenómenos que ocurren a tu alrededor. Los registros de la naturaleza a largo plazo te ayudan a recordar tus experiencias, los animales que viste, cómo era el clima en esos días, y mucho más. Al final, las observaciones se pueden convertir en una importante base para el estudio científico sobre como nuestro mundo va cambiando.
La actividad es designada para estudiantes de 14 a 18 años y adultos. El objetivo es familiarizar el estudiante con el concepto de la toma cuidadosa de observaciones de la naturaleza como fundamento para participar en el programa Nature's Notebook. Las preguntas encontradas en la actividad se relacionan directamente con los protocolos de Nature's Notebook, y introducen los fenómenos naturales de enfoque.
Si usted trabaja con audiencias mas jóvenes, podría quitar algunas preguntas o cambiarlas para otras mas sencillas.
USA-NPN Education Publication Numbers: 2014-005-C; 2014-005a-C; 2014-005b-C (2014-005-CSP; 2014-005a-CSP; 2014-005b-CSP - Spanish)
|Nature's Notebook Student Observation Guide||
This info sheet can be handed out to students in any setting. It describes phenology, the Nature's Notebook project and how to create a user account for the program. The editable version allows the instructor space to change the text to reflect the name of the group and sites the participants should join.
USA-NPN Education Publication Number: 2013-001-C (2013-001-CSP - Spanish)
|Signs of the Seasons: Phenology Calendar Exchange||
Monitor Signs of the Seasons plants or animals on your school grounds or in a local park, and compare your observations with those of a school or youth program in another region of Maine. Created by Signs of the Seasons: A Maine Phenlogy Program.
|Signs of the Seasons: Monarch-Milkweed Ecology Graphing||
Students learn to graph a small dataset about the timing of monarchs and milkweed appearance in Maine. The exercise involves graphing comparisons between groups, making predictions, and thinking about variability, an important concept in statistics and data literacy. Created by Signs of the Seasons: A Maine Phenology Program.
|Signs of the Seasons: Mapping and Graphing Your Observations||
Using dandelions, since they are numerous and easy to identify, students learn basic mapping and graphing skills, and practice making sense of the phenology data they have collected. Created by Signs of the Seasons: A Maine Phenology Program.
|Signs of the Seasons: Festival Dates||
Students visit the local library or a historical collection to look through source materials (newspapers, magazines, photo collections, etc.) to find dates and/or photos of annual festivals related to phenology (apple festivals, lilac festivals, maple sugar festivals, etc.). Created by Signs of the Seasons: A Maine Phenology Program.
|Signs of the Seasons: Phenology Snapshots||
Students compare phenology of the current season with historical phenology changes by comparing dated historical photos with present-day photos of the same locations. Created by Signs of the Seasons: A Maine Phenlogy Program.
|Signs of the Seasons: Bird Feeder Notebook||
Watch a feeder as a group/class and keep records of what you see. Compare your notebook with historical records for the same species in your area, if you can find any. Created by Signs of the Seasons: A Maine Phenology Program.
|Signs of the Seasons: Species Life Cycles||
Use the Signs of the Seasons life cycle calendar activity to draw two species that depend on one another for food, pollination, reproduction, or habitat (such as the monarch caterpillar and common milkweed). Created by Signs of the Seasons: A Maine Phenology Program.