Mentor Text: Citizen Scientists

Continuing in our alphabet countdown last week, the kiddos celebrated "C" with Career Day! They all brought in a prop that represented a job they might want to have when they are older. It was sweet - and interesting! - to see the variety of future careers. My favorite was the boy who brought in a basketball and a calculator - he is going to be a professional b-ball player, and then when his shelf-life is over, he'll do something responsible like be an accountant. :)

To go along with career day, we read this awesome book:
Amazon Description: Anyone can get involved in gathering data for ongoing, actual scientific studies such as the Audubon Bird Count and FrogWatch USA. Just get out into a field, urban park, or your own backyard. You can put your nose to a monarch pupa or listen for raucous frog calls. You can tally woodpeckers or sweep the grass for ladybugs. This book, full of engaging photos and useful tips, will show you how.
Citizen Science is a real organization - Citizen scientists are volunteers who participate in science research by collecting and/or analyzing data for a specific science project. The concept of citizen science is quite old; The Audubon Society has been using the concept for more than 100 years by getting average citizens involved in their annual bird counts. Today, numerous projects exist where citizen scientists are needed and this may be an excellent way to get online students involved in actual science projects.

If you ask little kids about science - this think of test tubes and experiments. Unfortunately, if you ask "big kids" about science, they usually think of reading textbooks and trying to decipher diagrams. I have worked to make science fun and interactive this year - and some of my kiddos have really developed a passion for science and for studying the world around us.

To go along with Career Day, I used this book to talk about different careers in the scientific field.
This chart shows what Kent University forensic science graduates are doing with their degrees:
In my research, I found this awesome website:
NIEHS Kids' Pages is a government website designed to teach children about the connections between their health and the environment; to encourage children to pursue careers in health, science, and the environment; and to assist children in learning to read and master mathematics and science.
There are articles, games, puzzles, quizzes - and even lesson plans for teachers and parents. If you have students (or personal children) interested in science, check this out! :)

Next week we are going to be "Citizen Scientists" as we study the great outdoors on a Nature Walk. Then we're going to lay on the grass on beach towels and do a "Sense-ational Spring" activity, that is observing signs of spring with our five senses. I just know it's going to be a blast!
Click HERE to download your FREE copy of this activity :)

Hop on over to Collaboration Cuties for more science mentor text ideas! 
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