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Phenology is an excellent way to teach science, technology, and math standards such as inquiry, observation, creating relevant questions, making predictions, graphing and analyzing information, problem solving, conducting basic research, and communication of results.

Image credit:
Lili Gama

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. 

 


 

Curriculum Ideas

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.

More Curriculum Ideas

View Nature's Notebook curriculum materials developed for these grade levels in the table below.

Title Description
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: 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.

Signs of the Seasons: Plant and Animal Life Cycle Drawings

Instead of the traditional circle-shaped life cycle drawings that you see in many books, have your group/class use their species observations to help them draw a life cycle for one or more of their SOS species that is stretched out in a line and matched to the dates on a calendar year (estimate, based on guidebook information, if you didn’t observe all phenophases). Created by Signs of the Seasons: A Maine Phenology Program.

Signs of the Seasons: Phenology Calendar Activity

Students create a month-by-month phenology calendar on a chalkboard, whiteboard, or large sheets of paper hung up around the room. Created by Signs of the Seasons: A Maine Phenology Project.

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