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Teaching Suggestions

Citizen Science: Tracking Monarch Butterfly Migration
(Back to Slideshow Overview)

Introduction

Citizen science involves everyday people in the process of scientific research and discovery. Using the facts and photos in this slideshow, explore this essential question:

Essential Question
How can citizens scientists contribute to scientific
research and discovery?


Set the Stage for Learning

1. Preview the slideshow. Ask questions to assess prior knowledge:

  • What action words describe what scientists do? (observe, experiment, analyze, etc.)
  • What is citizen science?
  • What do citizen scientists do?
  • How can citizen scientists contribute to research and discovery?
Citizen Science: Tracking Monarch Butterfly Migration
2. Preview images in the photo gallery. On large chart paper, post the essential question: How can citizens scientists contribute to research and discovery? Have students make pre-reading predictions based on details they see in the photos.
Citizen Science Slideshow: Photo Gallery

3. Preview slideshow using the headings handout. Have students predict how the headings may be related to the slideshow title and essential question: How can citizens scientists contribute to research and discovery?

 

Monarch Butterfly Citizen Science Slideshow: Headings Handout
Viewing the Slideshow

As a class, read through the pages of the slideshow together. Stop occasionally to spotlight key words and ideas or ask questions. Encourage students to share their own questions sparked by the information and images. Optional printed booklet of slideshow can be copied and assembled for partner or at-home reading.

Revisit for Understanding

1. Mark up the text. Review the definition of citizen science and revisit the essential question: How can citizens scientists contribute to research and discovery? Have students reread the text-only version of the slideshow with a partner, underlining important ideas and circling key words. Challenge them to use the word cards to summarize main ideas and details.

2. Prepare for outdoor observations by introducing students to field notebooks. Help them get ready to document and report monarch observations by reading the article, What to Report. Have students summarize the information by creating a "What and When to Report" reference chart on the inside cover of their field notebooks. Challenge them to think about how to design a chart that will help them remember what to watch for and also allow them to record when events were observed. Encourage their creativity by exploring possible chart formats. For example, a checklist with three columns: date, observation details, sketched image.

Monarch Butterfly Citizen Science Slideshow: Word Cards

 

 

Take-home Checklist: What to Report

Wrap Up

My "Practice Report"
Have students mock-up a well-written "practice report" based on what they have learned. Show them how to report a sighting to Journey North and find it on the live "Practice Report" map.

Helpful Handouts
Take-home Checklist: What to Report Take-home Checklist: What to Report Take-home Letter Worksheet: Citizen Science Sightings Reports

What to Report
Fall

What to Report
Spring

Take-home Letter
Fall|Spring

Reading Reports from
Citizen Scientists
Students/Teachers

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