Nature's Notebook Phenology-Themed Citizen Science

The lesson plans found in this tab are designed to integrate the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) ( into a phenology-themed citizen science program called Nature’s Notebook ( Nature’s Notebook citizen scientists collect phenology data—the timing of life cycle events in plants and animals—in their area for this national online program to generate long-term data sets used for scientific discovery and decision making.

Each lesson works to promote the NGSS through the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) 5 E Model to Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate student learning. With the 5 E Model, students are challenged to learn scientific terminology while developing explanations and design solutions; use evidence-based arguments and reasoning; use systems thinking and modeling while conducting investigations; solve problems and discuss open-ended question; and more! The content of the materials included in this tab are meant to act as templates and may need to be edited for each unique school site. The original outline and template that each lesson follows is attached below (The 5 E's Lesson Plan Template) and includes guiding questions and strategies consistent with the BSCS 5 E Model. Please contact Michelle Coe with feedback or questions at

The 5 E's Lesson Plan Template: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate & Evaluate

Getting Started: Nature's Notebook Guide

Introductory Activities: We are Scientists, Simple Nature's Notebook Data Sheets, Plant Mapping and Modeling, Background Research, and Sensory Systems

Entering Data into Nature's Notebook: A Step-by-Step Student Guide

Phenology Articles, Card Game, and Art Activities: Boost your phenology-learning with these extension activities (card game + power point with art pictures and ideas found here)

Borton Primary Magnet School: Data Sheets, Plant Map & Field Guides

John B. Wright Elementary School: Data Sheets, Plant Map & Field Guies

Mansfeld Magnet Middle School: Data Sheets, Plant Map & Field Guides

Manzo Elementary School: Data sheets, Plant Map & Field Guides

Raul M. Grijalva Elementary SchoolData Sheets, Plant Map & Field Guides