Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Taking notes based on Observations

Another great strategy from Seeds of Science today....  This one is on how to teach our students to take notes based on observation. There seems to be a lot of misinformation out there about whether or not we should be using the scientific method.  The truth is... real scientists use a variety of methods to record information.  One way is to make detailed notes simply by observing.  This is what Jane Goodall did in her famous research of chimpanzees...she observed using her five senses and she took detailed notes.... 
So how does this transfer into our classroom?  Choose an object from nature such as a rock, a shell, a piece of wood, a pine cone as well as a non-fiction text with good photographs, captions and information.  Explain that "observing means paying attention carefully and using all your senses to focus on details." (from the Seeds strategy guide - full link in my documents page). 

 The Students should follow these few steps.

1.  Focus your attention on what you are observing.
2.  Use as many of your senses as possible to observe (sight, hearing, touch, smell.)
3. Write down only what you observe, not what you imagine.
4.  Use scientific language.
5.  Be specific and detailed in order to create a picture with words.
6.  Include the date and time of your observations and any measurements you took.
7.  If possible, draw a detailed picture of what you observe and include labels.

My students record their observations in their science notebooks.  But some of you might want to use a worksheet that you can assess and send home.  Seeds of Science offers that too. 

Hope you are enjoying the blog!  Let me know if you have any questions or ideas for upcoming articles.  I'd love to help you out!

Gotta Run!

1 comment:

  1. I just want you to know that I am reading through your posts from recent to older. I really need the shot in the arm to do more writing about science. Thanks!