After students have read all about scientific field journals, they should answer the questions on the student sheet. You can use the answers below to engage them in a class discussion.
What type of information is recorded in the field notes journal?
Observations, thoughts, questions, measurements, data, and interpretations are recorded.
Is there one specific way to keep a field journal? Explain your answer.
No, the journal is unique to the individual reflecting his/her personal style. It might take some time and trial and error to find what works best for you.
Describe the different ways that scientists might record their observations, measurements, and ideas in their field journal.
They can use simple pencil drawings, paint detailed and colorful images, charts, lists, labels, or long and detailed descriptions.
Since it is not possible to write everything down in a journal, what advice does anthropologist Eleanor Sterling provide in “How to Keep a Journal 1”?
You need to figure out what things are important and what kinds of information you need for your project. Scientists use a coding system (a form of shorthand) to quickly take notes when something is happening so quickly that it is not possible get all of the information into the journal.
Why are field journals important in science?
They allow scientists to share information with one another and the public. The journals are a permanent record of a scientist’s work and are kept in libraries for study by future scientists.
This teacher sheet is a part of the The Frog Scientist 2: Schoolyard Field Investigation lesson.