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Observation Unrecorded is Knowledge Lost: How Nature Journals Create Better Observers

Loyd, Tyler
Making excellent observations is one of the key aspects of being a scientist. Because of the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (2013) by many states, teachers are trying to find ways to engage their students in science. Nature journals may be one way to help students become better observers of what they see in everyday life. They may also help students make stronger connections from what they are doing in the classroom to what they observe in their own communities. In this study, a class of 3rd grade students spent one month constructing and keeping “nature journals,” a detailed record of observations made outside. After a month of keeping journals and being given feedback about their journals, these students’ observational vocabulary increased significantly. The students also showed an increase in the number of journal “elements” included in each entry. This project explored what might make these prompts more effective.
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University of Wyoming. Libraries