Reflection: Discourse and Questioning What Is a Field Journal? - Section 1: Warm-up


There is a lot of opportunity for discourse during this portion of the lesson and I encourage you to take advantage of those opportunities.  For example, my class really came alive as they were working on decoding Strong's journal entry as they attempted to find out where he was and how he was able to get such a good sketch of the eagle.  Strong identifies his location as a rainforest in the first sentence of the journal.  He goes on to say that the location reminds him of Columbia, and later he mentions his camp is on a hill.  

I intended for this to be an easy question for the students to answer but leave it to teenagers to complicate an easy task!  Without fail, in every class the students were debating the location between rainforest, hillside camp, or Columbia.  This led to an excellent discussion as a whole class on being specific enough in our entries that others can understand our message.  To assist the students in making a decision I asked them where they are right now and students replied either school, class, or science class for the most part.  I pointed out that no students stated Lake in the Hills IL in the US.  At this point students were able to agree that the best description of Strong's location was "rainforest" because that would give a good context for the wildlife he would observe.

We had a similar conversation when students identified that Strong shot the bird with a .22 to be able to study it more closely.  We discussed the benefits and limitations of living vs. nonliving/preserved specimens.  It was awesome!

This discussion took a long enough time that I ended up breaking this lesson into two days, but it was well worth the extension as it gave a great context for many future lessons both within and beyond this unit.

  Student Discourse
  Discourse and Questioning: Student Discourse
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What Is a Field Journal?

Unit 3: Field Journals
Lesson 1 of 5

Objective: SWBAT identify the components of scientific journal entries and apply descriptive writing to their entries.

Big Idea: Students come to understand how important strong, descriptive writing is in science journals.

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20 teachers like this lesson
Science, classification, Analyzing and interpreting data
  45 minutes
field journal
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