Monarch on the Move, or Mistaken Sighting?
You Be the Scientist!

News Flash! Early Monarch Reported in Maryland

Click for larger map (March 26, 2006).

On March 25, 2006, Dorothee Braldey from Maryvale Elementary School in Rockville, MD, reported seeing what she thinks was a monarch flying above the highway.

That surprised us! It seemed too early to see monarchs that far north. Dorothee tells us that she's not certain she actually saw a monarch.

How will we decide if we should keep the sighting on the map? We'll need your help! Let's think like scientists.

1. What would help you decide if the sighting was accurate?
  • Brainstorm a list of things you'd like to know to help you decide if Dorothee really did see a monarch.
2. Learn more about the observer and observation.
  • Read Dorothee's report.
  • As you read through, look for clues. Highlight or underline words or phrases that make you think the observer might or might not have really seen a monarch.
  • Complete this Questions About the Observer page. Add questions that you would like to ask Dorothee.
3. How likely is it that a monarch would have been in MD on that date?
4. Organize your evidence and share your advice!
  • Create a chart with 2 columns: 1.) Evidence that the observer saw a monarch, 2.) Evidence that the observer did not see a monarch. Review your evidence.

  • What you think we should have done with the report?
    a.) Keep the report on the map?
    b.) Remove the report?
    c.) Do something else?
    Think it through! Then tell us what you decide. Explain why you made the choice you did: Contact Journey North.

Digging Deeper: More tools for Making Sense of Unusual Findings.

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