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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)

Type of Resource: 
Lesson plan
Created by an LPL
Tabling Activity
Audience Type: 
High School (9-12)
Post Secondary (Higher Ed)
Adult Audience

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