Analyzing Migration Maps
Watch Your Language!
are the monarch butterflies right now? How far have they flown from Mexico?
When you describe the progress of a migration, be very careful about the
words you choose. Always remember: We only know as much about a migration
as our participants tell us!
only know as much about a migration as our participants tell us!
Look Closely at Our Language
Here are some sample statements we have made. Circle the words we used
to indicate how or where we got the information.
Try reading the phrases without the words you circled. Explain how the meaning
changes. Why do we need to show how or where we got the data instead of
stating things as facts? Keep a list of specific examples.
to our observers, the monarchs from Mexico are now in Oklahoma.
- The map
shows that the monarchs have now reached the Great Lakes.
on a report from the town of York, Nebraska, monarchs have now arrived
in that state.
- The first
monarch reported in Michigan was on April 21st.
- A monarch
was reported in Ohio at latitude 41N.
- The leading
edge of the migration is now in New Jersey, according to a reporter
to Catch Us Making a Mistake!
always question data that they haven't verified themselves!
Do we do a good job describing migration based on the limitations of our
data? Can you catch us stating facts that we
can't know for sure? Read for examples! Here are spring migration updates
from the past few years. (Beginning in mid-March each spring, the updates
contain a migration map and a description.)
a list of the words we chose to convey information accurately. If you
find sentences that you think we need to rewrite, please let us know!
Education Standards >>