Week 1
Jan. 30th-Feb. 2nd
Science Inquiry, Nature Journaling, and the Naturalist:

Welcome to Nature Stars!
If you are reading this, then you are probably in one of my after school programs. I want this webpage to be a resource for you as we go through Session 3 this year. I am going to post general outlines and any additional notes or technology materials here so that you can access it at any time.


Part 1: Science Inquiry:

What is inquiry?
The diverse ways in which scientists study the natural world and propose explanations based on the evidence derived from their work. Scientific inquiry also refers to the activities through which students develop knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, as well as an understanding of how scientists study the natural world.
(source: National Research Council 1996, and Idaho State Dept. of Education).

It is up to you, as a class, to form questions and observations on your own and with other students. I want you to challenge me, as well as yourselves, to come up with answers to questions that are dealt with every day in the field of science. Every week we meet I am going to make sure to set aside time for inquiry, and we will put all of our knowledge together and tackle questions as a class.


Part 2: Nature Journaling:
1) What is a nature journal?
A nature journal is a pad of paper that you bring with you whenever you go for a hike or outside to observe nature. It allows you to record animals you see, sketch trees, record the weather, time of day, and other scientific information that you will need to look back on hours, days, or months down the road. If you call yourself a scientist, then you better be organized and accurate with your data. The only way to do that is to record all of your information in an organized and timely manner. Nature journals help you do that.

2) Why is it important?
As humans we do not have a perfect memory of every event, and a nature journal is a fun way to keep track of the little details that are often forgotten, like the exact temperature and time of day. It encourages students to use the scientific method, and gives creative students the opportunity to draw pictures and sketch. It helps to develop observational skills, and to see beyond what we see day to day as just "the surface." We begin to sit, think, and see the small connections in nature, which are often the most important. Journaling slows you down, so that you can focus, and take in what is really there. It's a good thing.


3) Who uses nature journals?
1) Wildlife biologists
2) Botanists
3) Agronomists
4) Conservation biologists
5) Naturalists
6) Foresters
Just to name a few...
(source: Purdue University school of Agriculture)

4) What kind of design can I do on the cover of my journal?
You can be as creative as you would like, as long as there are no bad words or inappropriate drawings or pictures. You can make a collage on the front cover, or you can simply put your name and your grade. This process allows the artistic students a chance to express themselves, and it allows other students the opportunity to use art in a fun way.

Please take the next 10 minutes to complete your nature journal cover designs.

You may use magazine cut outs, construction paper, drawings, writings, and creativity. Remember, you are not being graded, so please have fun.

Now let's take the next 5 minutes to quietly observe nature through the windows.
After the time has passed we will record what we saw individually in our nature journals. What do you think we should record? Are there fundamental things we should record every time we make an entry? Is there a right or wrong choice as to what we put in our nature journals? Should we collect data, draw pictures, or both?


Part 3: Famous Naturalists 15 minute ActivityInstructions:
After reading through these instructions please click on the link below, and read through some of the most famous names in the history of the Naturalist field. Please pick one name from the list and start working on the activity that is described halfway down the same page using the person you've chosen. Essentially you are researching someone's biography, or life. Please complete the first 10 questions.

http://www.greenhearted.org/great-naturalists.html
source: GreenHeart Education
 
 
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