Milkweed and Monarch Butterfly Mania

Journal Entry - Field Notes are extremely valuable

The work of art at the right is titled, Young Scientist. The subject is clearly making observations about a milkweed plant. He is holding a small, bound journal.

Scientists concentrate on getting accurate data. Such evidence is obtained by observations and measurements taken in situations that range from natural settings…to completely contrived ones (such as in the laboratory). To make their observations, scientists use their own senses, instruments…that enhance those senses, and instruments that tap characteristics quite different from what humans can sense (such as magnetic fields).1

orange bullet Use the information you have learned in Milkweed & Monarch Mania to make a journal entry on behalf of this young scientist.

Write a title and your name at the top of the paper. pdf version

Date the entry in the journal.

What you should include in a journal:

Collect and record data - Tips

* Measurements - document the instruments needed to make each measurement.

See - this exercise for information

* Use charts or tables to organize data where appropriate.

* Use your senses in making the observations. Note any patterns

* You may include sketches or photos

* Take an inventory of animals found - be sure to describe them using appropriate terms. How many does he see?

* The classification of the plant or one animal that could be found on it.
Monarch Butterfly wksheet

* Draw a small map of the location of the plant.
Include a landmark that actually exists in your community.

* Personal observations of the environment. (Season, weather, altitude, habitat, biome)

* Write a question he may wish to pursue using the scientific method.

* Note what he should observe for on a subsequent visit to collect data.

* Note any significant environmental issues related to what he may see.

* Conclude with a statement about his or your relationship with the environment.

A lesson about Science Journals |

Using a Dichotomous Key and a Field Guide

Field Note Guide Handout

If you are having trouble imagining what he would see, then use this real plant photo.

green arrow Main Page


Fields, Meadows & Fencerows EcoStudy Unit

Leaf anatomy observation information off site

young boy observing a milkweed using a magnifying glass

George Ericson, a.k.a. Eugene Iverd (1893-1936), Young Scientist, 1932, oil on canvas, Collection: Erie Art Museum, Erie, PA.

Citizen Science Projects:


Participate in Monitoring Monarch Larval Monitoring Project

Milkweed and Nectar Plant Phenology Project

Science Is a Blend of Logic and Imagination

1. American Association for the Advancement of Science. (1989). Science for all Americans: A Project 2061 report on literacy goals in science, mathematics, and technology. Washington, DC: Author. [Available online at:

Aligned with the Pennsylvania State Academic Standards: Reading & Writing, Mathematics, Ecology & Environment, Geography, Science and Technology, Arts & Humanities

Pennsylvania Science Anchors
S.A.2. Processes, Procedures, and Tools of Scientific Investigations

S.A.3. Systems, Models, and Patterns, S.B.1. Structure and Function of Organisms
S4.B.3.1.1 Describe the living and nonliving components of a local ecosystem
S8.A.1 Reasoning and Analysis

ISTE Standard 3 - Technology productivity tools
ISTE Standard 5 - Technology research tools

Information Literacy Standards - Independent Learning
NCTE Standard 3 - Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.
NCTE Standard 8 - Students use a variety of technology and information resources to gather, synthesize, and communicate knowledge.

"People can often learn about things around them by just observing those things carefully, but sometimes they can learn more by doing something to the things and noting what happens. Describing things as accurately as possible is important in science because it enables people to compare their observations with those of others.

Tools such as thermometers, magnifiers, rulers, or balances often give more information about things than can be obtained by just observing things without their help." Science NetLinks Benchmark 1- Nature of science - How science works

ivy rule

 Internet Hunts / Nature / Computers / Pennsylvania Projects / Plants and People / Puzzles & Projects / Site map / Home

All trademarks, copyright and logos belong to their respective owners.
©2003 Cynthia O'Hora All rights reserved.
Updated 8/2007

made with Macintosh