Background Lessons for Journey North

You can use the following standards-based lessons in preparation for or during any Journey North study.

Quick Links
Seasonal Change: Core Background Concepts
  • Introduction: Tracking Seasonal Change With Journey North
    Seasonal change is all around us. Children see it in the length of a day, in the appearance of a flower, in the flight of a butterfly. This Slideshow and Teaching Resources introduce Journey North, a free, Internet-based program in which students explore the interrelated aspects of seasonal change.
  • Reasons for Seasons: Exploring the Astronomy of the Seasons
    To fully grasp what causes seasons, students need a variety of opportunities over time to explore light, shadows, and Earth-Sun models. The five activities in this mini-unit require few materials and offer some basic strategies for exploration. You can use them sequentially or individually to reinforce or lay the groundwork for your students' online investigations of seasonal change.
  • Seeing The Light: Recognizing the Sun's Role in Living Systems
    Students create webs that illustrate their thinking about how sunlight affects living systems, such as food chains and webs.
  • Global Climates and Seasons
    Several factors affect a region's climate and the number and types of seasons it experiences. Here students explore colorful animations of annual changes in temperature and precipitation.


The Mysteries of Migration

Skills for Tracking Migrations and the Seasons


Quick Links
Spring's Journey North

Cultivating Critical Thinkers

  • You're the Scientist: Verifying Data Collected by Peers
    As part of Journey North's Internet Field Team, your students collect backyard observations and share them with classrooms across North America. This throng of student observers expand the eyes and ears of scientists in ways never before possible. In this lesson, students explore ways to assess the accuracy and reliability of data reported by other observers.
  • Encouraging Inquiry-Based Research
    Students categorize questions they generate in preparation for pursuing answers that expand their existing knowledge.
  • How is a Hotdog Like a Shoe? Thinking by Analogy
    One strategy that will help students better understand abstract concepts is the use of analogy. By making analogies, just like scientists do, students can relate things they don't understand to things they do! This activity can be used throughout the project to help students better understand unfamiliar concepts.
  • Cycling through Controversy: Debating Values and Viewpoints
    Students practice taking different perspectives when debating environmental issues. Then they take these into account when posing solutions.
  • Ask the Expert: Connecting Students to Scientists
    Develop questions for scientists and other specialists that can't be answered anyplace else.