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Nature's Notebook Activities
Explore Nature's Notebook materials created by the National Coordinating Office Staff and partners.
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|Species Research Worksheet||
Use this worksheet to help guide students in researching chosen species for observation. It can be used when beginning the implementation of the Nature's Notebook walk at the school or Phenology Trail in your community. Students can each select their own species they'd like to learn more about, or they can be assigned based upon what is available and how the instructor would like to involve the students in the project plan and establishment.
Questions on the worksheet include those supplemental to the individual plant details and phenophase definitions for each, as established in the Nature's Notebook monitoring protocols.
USA-NPN Education Resource: 2015-001-C
|6-Week Nature's Notebook Program Implementation Guide and Jr. Phenologist Certification Program||
This step-by-step implementation an curriculum plan outlines a 6-week long monitoring program, appropriate for classrooms, summer camps and after school programs. It is a curriculum package that ties together a series of activities with the student-outcome of collecting observations for Nature's Notebook.
Before you begin, be sure to visit the resources for Nature's Notebook that describe how to set up a group monitoring site on our Start a Local Project Page. Students have the option of becoming a Certified Junior Phenologist at the end of the course, depending upon the quality of their participation. The Junior Phenologist program requires that participating students under the age of 18 make at least 6 consistent and consecutive observations for Nature's Notebook, including entering the observation data from the plants and animals they observe into our National Phenology Database.
USA-NPN Education Publication Number: 2015-003-C
|Geocaching and Phenology||
Nature's Notebook and geocaching can be a fun activity. Students can geolocate their plants at the established site and list the coordinates in the comments section when adding plants to the Nature's Notebook datasheet. Use this field datasheet when setting up your site outside. Includes a space to record the latitude and longitude, Plant name and description, and location descriptions.
USA-NPN Education Publication Number: 2015-002-C
|Data download and visualization for your Nature's Notebook group||
This 2 page guide describes the ways that you can download your group's data, and the USA-NPN tools available to you to make graphs of your data to share with your group members.
USA-NPN Education Publication Number: 2015-002-T
|Summarizing Observation Records by Participant||
The resource walks the user through the creation of a PivotTable to determine which users in a group have submitted data, on what date, for which species.
USA-NPN Education Publication Number: 2014-001-T
|Getting Started with Nature's Notebook in the Classroom||
Nature's Notebook should be implemented in classrooms where teachers plan to make consistent observations with their students for at least a semester. We recommend that you only choose to do Nature's Notebook if you are able to collect data at your school for a two years or longer. Thus, you are the Local Phenology Project leader who is helping us collect data for the National Phenology Database.
This four page document is a guide to getting started with Nature's Notebook in your classroom. It includes tips for planning links to our webpages, directions on how to get started, and PRO TIPS for implementation. It is designed to help you navigate the information on the Nature's Notebook and USA-NPN websites.
Working with students under 13? In accordance with internet safety laws we do not allow youth to create accounts in Nature's Notebook if they are under the age of 13. If your group is 13 or younger, consider having a leader be responsible for creating and maintaining a Nature's Notebook account for the classroom and plan on utilizing our Simple Datasheets for the students. The leader can follow the official Nature's Notebook species definitions, make one entry for the classroom and still lead students in phenology observation.
Some groups choose to create classroom accounts to be used by groups of students who may be sharing technology like iPads or tablets, using our mobile apps. If you have several general classroom email accounts, instructors can use those to create accounts in Nature's Notebook and the students can utilize the apps on the tablets to make observations.
If you are only seeking to take students out one time to make observations, consider utlizing our phenology activities in the curriculum section instead of creating an observation site in Nature's Notebook.
USA-NPN Education Publication Number: 2014-015-C
|Habitat Scavenger Hunt||
The following lesson can be used as an introduction to the concept of observation. Observations skills are critical to the field of science among other things! Knowing how to pay attention to what’s is going on around you is an important life skill. Taking the time to make observations is beneficial to health and wellness too. It also introduces the concept of phenology through the observation of plants and animals in a habitat garden. The activity increases science literacy by teaching about observation skills, encourages people to pay attention to their surroundings, to spend more time outdoors and observe things they may not yet have experienced.
USA-NPN Education Publication Number: 2014-013-C
The following activity can be used as an introduction to the concept of phenology. The items on the phenology board are phenomena that participants have observed in nature, perhaps without even knowing their relationship to ecology, science, and climate, or their status as phenological events. Maybe they are fond childhood memories. The activity increases science literacy by teaching about life-cycle events, encouraging people to recall experiences outdoors and spend more time observing things they may not yet have experienced. It can be adapted to any grade level.
USA-NPN Education Publication Number: 2014-010-C
The following activity can be used as an introduction to the concept of observation. Observations skills are critical to the field of science, among other things! Knowing how to pay attention to what’s is going on around you is an important life skill. Taking the time to make observations is beneficial to health and wellness too. The activity increases science literacy by teaching about observation skills, encourages people to pay attention to their surroundings, to spend more time outdoors and observe things they may not yet have experienced. It can be adapted for any grade level.
USA-NPN Education Publication Number: 2014-012-C
|The Life of Corn||
The following activity can be used as an introduction to the concept of phenology. It demonstrates the life cycle of a corn plant, a plant familiar to many, putting this plant into a new perspective. The Life of Corn highlights the importance of the developmental life-cycle, something which all organisms experience in a predictable manner. The activity increases science literacy by teaching about life-cycle events, encourages people not only to recall experiences outdoors but also to spend more time outdoors and observe things they may not yet have experienced. This activity was adapted from Dandelion Life, presented by NatureBridge. It is adapatable to all grade levels.
USA-NPN Education Publication Number: 2014-014-C