During Journey North Studies
North provides a variety of Journaling Questions on Activity/Lesson
pages (and in some Journey North News updates) for each migration
and seasonal project. Some questions require students to dig into
and make sense of data; some ask students to puzzle out math,
science, or mapping challenges; others ask students to reflect
on Journey North experiences, think creatively, or make personal
connections to material. Many questions model the thinking/questioning
process that scientists use in their work. Often open-ended, they
offer students examples of the types of questions they should
be asking themselves.
Using journaling questions can help you address pressures to integrate
writing into subject areas. The questions help students build
and reinforce reasoning and problem-solving skills and understanding.
Student responses help you assess their thinking, gains, and gaps,
and their ability to draw from past knowledge as they build new
understandings. You and your class can suggest additional or replacement
journal questions that reflect your unique learning and assessment
general journal questions to use for assessment
(and student self-assessment):
do you know about ___ (e.g., tulip bulb growth)? What evidence
do you have?
How do you think ___ relates to ___ ? (e.g., sunlight relates
to animal migration?)
How would you explain ____ (e.g., the pattern of dots on this
Write 3 questions, 2 new “ahas,” and 1 suggestion
for digging deeper with this investigation.
How would you persuade ____ (e.g., community members) that it’s
important to ____ (e.g., make gardens for wildlife)?
What have you learned this week about ____?
Draw a concept map to illustrate your understanding/thinking
about ____ (e.g., food webs).
Discover one new thing from ____ (e.g., a butterfly observation
session) and write about it.
and complete a chart with these headings: What I did, What I
What is your opinion about ______? Why do you feel that way?
How did you get your answer? Is there another possible answer?
How would you rate yourself on _____ (e.g., graphing skills)?
do you still want to know more about? How might you find out?
asking students to read some entries out loud so you and classmates
can ask questions, dig deeper into student thinking, and respectfully
challenge it, if necessary. These sessions can also spark fruitful
discussions and new questions to investigate.