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Resources for 9-12 Grade Classroom Teachers
Phenology and Nature’s Notebook can also be used to teach subjects other than science.
Phenology can be used to teach:
- English and Language Arts such as reading comprehension, writing, speaking and listening
- Social Studies such as American History, World History, Cultural Studies, and Geography
- Healthy Living and Physical Education
- Foreign and Native Languages including communication, culture, and comparative studies
- Arts such as music, theater, and visual arts
Where do I begin?
Adding a phenological monitoring program to your classroom is easy as long as your project is well-planned. Consider involving other like-minded teachers and staff in your project to make it a meaningful, multi-year experience.
If you can commit to establishing a site at your school for at least 2 years, take a look at our Nature's Notebook Planning Resources to help you get started.
Use Nature's Notebook observations to teach many science topics and prepare students for higher education by exploring critical thinking, careers, research, and scientific inquiry. Have students monitor a set of plants for a semester, or a year. Ask them to generate their own hypotheses, based on evidence of what they've seen, about seasonal and climatic change. If you and the students can continue monitoring for multiple years, ask students to return to the Nature's Notebook data, via visualization tools or excel download, and synthesize what they've seen and learned over the course of their high school career. We encourage people to create groups for monitoring at your school or campus, to which many participants can contribute their own observations.
Consider reaching out to community agencies and organizations and asking them to also monitor phenology. Many local and state government agencies have staff that will help with outreach projects and engage high school students in career choices. Even better if the theme can be phenology!
- Classroom Phenology Project Planning Worksheet (available as word doc)
- Lesson Planning Worksheet (available as word doc)
- Sample teachers workshop with editable powerpoint and activities
- Getting Started with Nature's Notebook in the Classroom
- Questions on how to get started? Contact our Education Coordinator.
- Have ideas or curriculum to share? Let us know and we can post it!
If you can't commit to a long-term monitoring program at your school, consider instead using some of our phenology activities and lesson plans to supplement your student learning. Search the table below for activities appropriate for high school learners.
Nature's Notebook and the Next Generation Science Standards
A long-term, Nature's Notebook phenology monitoring program in the classroom can help address the following Next Generation Science Standards Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI):
The table below contains lesson plans and ideas for implementing Nature’s Notebook in Grades 9-12. Implementing phenology monitoring and Nature’s Notebook at the high school level allows students to engage with the content in an experiential way, provides opportunities to do community based projects through partnerships with local organizations, understand the implications of climate change, and engage with scientists performing data analysis.
View Nature's Notebook curriculum materials developed for 9th-12th grades in the table below.
|PBS Nature Series - Track a Lilac Classroom Materials||
Engage students with hands-on science by contributing to the Track a Lilac citizen science research project. Scientists are working with volunteers across North America to study phenology—seasonal changes in plant and animal life cycles. Watch this video produced for American Spring LIVE to learn how these changes are critical to addressing challenges that arise as the climate changes.
This resource includes:
|Exploring Phenology Data in the Classroom: Plant Phenology Data and Citizen Science||
This activity was designed by Jessica Savage (at University of Minnesota) and Erin O'Connell (at the University of Minnesota), with input from Blake Steiner (University of Arizona, School of Natural Resources) and Claire O'Neill (Earthwise Aware). It guides students through the use of the USA-NPN Visualization Tool to summarize phenology data.
Activity learning outcomes:
|Driven to Discover Citizen Science Curriculum Guide: Phenology and Nature's Notebook||
This curriculum series supports student engagement in ecology-based citizen science and science practices: asking questions and defining problems, planning and carrying out investigations, and communicating findings. The citizen science projects provide a natural springboard to these practices and also connect students to real-world research.
This implementation guide is designed to provide context and activities related to collecting observations on deciduous trees in temperate forestes using Nature's Notebook protocols. It includes four content areas: Building science skills; Contributing to citizen science; and Conducting independent investigations. There are options for a condensed version and extended version, covering the span of an academic year.
View the companion video to the curriculum here:
It is also linked on the USA-NPN NCO YouTube Channel, Videos created by our Partners PlayList.
The guide was produces by a team of authors at University of Minnesota Extension.
Thompson, Ami; Strauss, Andrea L.; Oberhauser, Karen S.; Kooman, Michele H.; Montgomery, Rebecca; Andicoechea, Jonathan; Blair, Robert B.. (2018). Driven to Discover Citizen Science Curriculum Guide: Phenology and Nature's Notebook. University of Minnesota Extension. Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy, http://hdl.handle.net/11299/198624.
|Local Phenology Program Sustainability Plan||
The purpose of this Nature’s Notebook Sustainability Plan is to provide documentation of your Local Phenology Program that can be shared with stakeholders, coworkers, or volunteers. This can be a valuable document in the event that you and other founding Leaders are no longer able to work on Nature's Notebook for your organization. Designed outcomes, a list of partnering groups, potential funders, and information about the Local Phenology Program in Nature’s Notebook can help ensure the program’s sustainability in the event of staff or volunteer turnover.
|Local Phenology Program Planning & Evaluation Resources||
Local Phenology Program Planning Guide
This resource guide describes how to develop a program plan for monitoring phenology with groups of people. It walks you through the steps to creating a long-term phenology monitoring program for Nature's Notebook, with education, research, management, or all three as an overarching objective. It also includes a checklist on page 13 detailing the succesful elements of a Local Phenology Program designed for sustainability.
Guidance document for developing Nature's Notebook Outcomes and Objectives
Includes details about how to draft and write sound program outcome statements, objectives, and developing a logic model.
Needs Assessment Worksheet
Before you embark on designing any type of long-term phenology monitoring program consider doing a needs assessment to decide what "need" something like a Nature's Notebook might fill. The first link above is a simple needs assessment form which can be used to determine your first steps in program development. You can also share your information with the National Coordinating Office staff by completing the web form linked from that page.
Nature's Notebook Program Planning Activity
Before you dive into writing up a Program Plan for your long-term Nature's Notebook phenology monitoring program, consider using this worksheet to help you think about short, medium, and long-term measurable outcomes. You also may wish to document some of the information you've gathered from your Needs Assessment Form if you've got stakeholders and resources now available to you. If you've decided upon your needs, decided how Nature's Notebook can help you meet those needs and the resources you have available, then you can work backward to determine what specifically you need to do to get you there.
We also offer a planning worksheet in Spanish if you are working with Spanish speaking audiences.
Program Mapping Worksheet
This worksheet will help you think more specifically about the objectives and action steps you need to do to achieve your stated short, medium, or long-term outcomes for your program. Use this to help you better articulate the Short-, medium-, and long-term outcomes and objectives after working through the Program Planning Activity Worksheet.
Logic Model Worksheet
If you'd like to use a more traditional planning template, check our our Logic Model Worksheet for documenting measurable outcomes.
For more information on Program Planning and Evaluation visit the following helpful websites:
Action Planning Template
How are you going to get from point A to point B? This template helps you to document the steps you are taking (your objectives and activities) and provides a place to record what resources you need for each, who is responsible for completing activities and tasks, and documentation for when it is complete.
We also offer a Sustainability Plan where you may wish to document aspects of your LPP in the event that you leave your position and someone else must take over the Program.
Needs Assessment Worksheet: USA-NPN Education Resource Number: 2017-002-C
Program Planning Guide: USA-NPN Education Resource Number: 2014-007-C (2014-007-CSP - Spanish)
Logic Model Worksheet: USA-NPN Education Resource Number: 2017-001-C