Reading and Reflecting on Reports from Citizen Scientists

How to Use the "My Thoughts" Journal Page in Your Classroom
Take advantage of the field observations that other gardeners report. Students can use this journal page to collect information from the reports and add their thoughts, discoveries, calculations, predictions, and questions. Here are some core questions:

  • What scientific data can we collect from each report? How can we tell facts from opinions?
  • What questions would we like to ask these citizen scientists?

1. Find the New garden reports in each week's update. The data is listed on a page that you can print or display. All reports for the season are stored in the sightings database and on the tulip garden map. Ask each student to select a favorite sighting.

2. Have students use the journal page to record a sighting and collect his or her thoughts about it. They should do the following:

  • Record the date, location (town/state/province), and global address (latitude and longitude) in the space provided.
  • Use the map to mark the location of the sighting.
  • Revisit the report. Collect information and data to comment on; copy or paraphrase excerpts.
  • Write about their discoveries, questions, predictions, personal connections, and opinions.

3. Share these reflections in small groups or as a class.

4. Build a booklet throughout the season. Encourage students to add these completed pages to their personal journals.

Assessment note:
You and students can also use the journal pages to assess their emerging understanding. Read student reflections together and discuss their thinking. Or collect the journals or pages periodically and use Post-it Notes for your comments.

Journal Page
"My Thoughts"