Follow Spring's Journey North
Recording Highlights of the Season


"Journey North opened my eyes to the sweep of life moving with the seasons across the Western Hemisphere. Wow!" said Maine teacher Roger Merchant.

Your class can have the same experience by scanning the headlines in Journey North News Updates each day. This will give your students a rich overview of the interconnected changes that occur in spring.


1. Make a Spring Calendar
Have students make a calendar or timeline that extends from February to June.

Journey North News2. Scan the Journey North Headlines!
Have students read the "headlines" in Journey North News regularly. Select "News" on the navigation bar above. The News page links directly to the latest news story for each species. An accompanying abstract tells the highlights included in each report. Students can read the full story for details.

Sample headlines:

  • February 28: First ruby-throated hummingbirds reported in U.S.
  • March 10: Ice melts from Thoreau's Walden Pond.
  • March 20: Monarch butterflies are leaving the sanctuaries in Mexico.
  • April 7: The first whooping cranes leave Texas for Canada.
  • April 10: First Gray whale mothers & babies reach Monterey Bay, CA.
  • May 1: Robins finally arrive in North Pole, Alaska.

Try This! End Products

1. Spread the News of Spring's Arrival in Your Community.
Students at Cape Cod Lighthouse Charter School wrote weekly reports for their community newspaper, from February to June. "What a great experience," said teacher Joanne Amaru. The students captured highlights from Journey North News to include in their news column, 'Nature Track.'" (More...)

2. Make a Journey North exhibit for your whole school!
Encourage other classrooms to help track various spring events, and provide a complete picture of the Spring's journey through your hometown--and across the hemisphere.

3. Make History
Report your observations and they will be stored permanently in our database. Just click to search for your historic records.
Also, maintain a class journal about springtime observations. Share it in your classroom from year to year so students can make comparisons. Embellish with descriptive writing, poetry, illustrations, and photos. Consider as a class:

  • How could future students add to the timeline/journal each year?
  • How could you show that events are cyclical in nature?

4. Connect to Climate Change Issues
Your local observations—collected over time—may show the effect of a changing climate. Consider sharing your observations with your community.

Try This! Journaling or Discussion Questions

1. Timing and the Food Chain
Look closely at the time each of the events occurred:

  • Sunlight--How might sunlight (photoperiod) influence the timing of these events? Give examples.
  • Temperature--How are these events related to the effect of temperature on the food chain? Give examples.
  • Plants--What plants does each animals need? How is an animal's movement related to plant growth in spring?

2. Timing and Adaptations

  • Which of these events suggest a plant or animal can tell time?
  • Find out how animals "tell time." Learn about "biological clocks."
  • What would happen if a plant or animal lost track of time?