Reflection: High Quality Task It's an Indoor Excursion, Mate! - Section 2: Practice


Students have a hard time understanding what they need to record in their field journal entries.  The majority of the students still want to write down statements such as "a boy was walking down the hall" and no matter how many times I explain the expectation of being as detailed as possible to the whole class, students have difficulty when it comes to applying that in the field.  Because of this, I chose to spend a few minutes with each group at their assigned locations and model what I wanted them to identify.

While I sitting with a group of students in the hall, a student walked past us.  The group documented the experience by stating "a student walked by".  I assisted them in taking the observations deeper by asking the following questions:

  • Where did that student come from?  Where do you think he is going?
  • How are are they walking?  
  • Do they seem eager to get where they are going?  What makes you think so?
  • What happens if you introduce a change to the "ecosystem" you are watching? (this was fun, students were very clever in applying their changes from putting obstacles in the hall to fake tripping and dropping books near the people we were observing and recording the response.)


Once students got used to what they were to be recording, they were able to get much more useful observations/inferences.  Working with each small group (3-4 students per group) really helped students begin to process their observations at a deeper level and begin to develop explanations for what they were witnessing that helped make their data more usable.

  Getting Students To Write What I Want
  High Quality Task: Getting Students To Write What I Want
Loading resource...

It's an Indoor Excursion, Mate!

Unit 3: Field Journals
Lesson 4 of 5

Objective: SWBAT apply their newly acquired field journal skills in a semi-controlled indoor environment.

Big Idea: Students apply their field journal skills while observing fascinating animals in captivity!

  Print Lesson
5 teachers like this lesson
Similar Lessons
Time To Draft Narrative
8th Grade ELA » Personal Narrative/Memoirs: Writing And Conferencing
Big Idea: You have a story to tell. Tell it.
Demarest, NJ
Environment: Suburban
Toby Murphy
F451 Writing About Theme in "The Hearth and the Salamander" - Planning & Draft 1
8th Grade ELA » Fahrenheit 451 - Novel Study
Big Idea: What Does Conformity Mean Again? Oh, That's Right!

Environment: Suburban
Nicholas Gearing
Desert Dwellers (2 Day Lesson)
6th Grade Science » Zoology
Big Idea: Wildlife populations are not static. They constantly fluctuate in response to a variety of stimulating and limiting factors. Populations of animals are continually changing in order to maintain equilibrium in an ecosystem.
Scottsdale, AZ
Environment: Suburban
Melodie Brewer
Something went wrong. See details for more info
Nothing to upload