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Resources for K-4 Classroom Teachers
Phenology and Nature’s Notebook can also be used to teach subjects other than science. Phenology can also support the following standards:
- 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 phenology monitoring program to your classroom is easy if your project is well planned. Consider involving other like-minded teachers and staff 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.
- Getting Started with Nature's Notebook in the Classroom
- Classroom Phenology Project Planning Worksheet (available as word doc)
- Lesson Planning Worksheet
- Questions on how to get started? Contact our Education Coordinator.
There are many hands-on citizen science programs available for phenology monitoring, and some are perfectly suited for K-4 audiences. Visit our partners’ websites for ideas about how to incorporate phenology education in the classroom.
- Project BudBurst - Curriculum
- Great Sunflower Project - Curriculum
- Monarch Watch - Curriculum
- The Great Backyard Bird Count - For Kids
- Journey North - Teacher Resources
More Curriculum Ideas
View Nature's Notebook curriculum materials developed for these grade levels in the table below.
|Phenology Activities in the Red Butte Garden - by Christine Melvin||
For the 3rd Grade Field Trip, students will be led on a two-hour hike in the Red Butte Garden Natural Area. During the hike, students will engage in the practice of collecting data within Nature’s Notebook citizen science database. Between recording Nature’s Notebook data, students will be participating in four different hands-on learning activities that focus on one change in a plant or animal’s life cycle (birth, growth, reproduction, and death). Each hands-on stop will also give a closer glimpse of a phenophase stage that the students may witness throughout their field trip.
Each hands-on activity is geared to try to practice “Phenology” the science of showing or appearing.
|Spring Activity Guide by Indiana Phenology||
An appreciation of nature and an understanding of environmental issues help children become responsible world citizens. This curriculum provides upper elementary-aged children with the opportunity to explore environmental issues through the lens of phenology, which is the study of the recurring, seasonal rhythms in nature. In addition to engaging crafts and activities, students have the opportunity to be scientists as they participate in Indiana Phenology’s Schoolyard Phenology observation program by observing and documenting the spring awakening of plants on school grounds during the course of the 10-week curriculum. Each week there is a 1-2 hour lesson available.
|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:
|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