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Reading and Reflecting on Reports from Citizen Scientists

How to Use the Journal Page in Your Classroom
Take advantage of the field observations that other student and adult citizen scientists report. Students can use the journal page (right) to collect information from the reports and add their thoughts, discoveries, calculations, predictions, and questions. Here are some core questions:

  • What scientific data can we collect from each report?
  • How can we tell facts from opinions?
  • What did we discover about hummingbirds? About the progress of this spring's migration?
  • What questions would we like to ask these citizen scientists?

1. Find migration sightings in each week's migration news update. All observations are also stored in the sightings database and on the migration maps. Ask each student to select a favorite sighting.

2. Have each student use the journal page to record an excerpt and collect his or her thoughts about the sighting. Students should do this:

  • Record the date, location of observation (town/state/province), and global address (latitude and longitude).
  • Use the map to mark the location of the sighting.
  • Revisit the observation report. Collect information and data to comment on; copy or paraphrase excerpts.
  • Write about their discoveries, questions, predictions, personal connections, and opinions.

3. Share these reflections in small groups or as a class.

4. Build a booklet throughout the season. Encourage students to add these completed pages to their travel journals.

Assessment note:
You and students can also use the journal pages to assess their emerging understanding. Read student reflections together and discuss their thinking. Or collect the booklet or pages periodically and use Post-it Notes for your comments.

Journal Page


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