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Student's Journal

Observer: Sharpening Observation Skills

Arrow Introduction:
One key to success for Jane Goodall while she was at Gombe was her ability to be a keen observer of chimpanzees. Although most people will not have an opportunity to observe wild chimpanzees, students of science need to be sharp observers because careful observations are the foundation of scientific inquiry. Also, keep in mind - what we observe and how we observe it determines the questions we ask.
Arrow Observation Activities:
  1. Examine a stainless steel soup spoon and describe the difference in the reflections of the inner and outer side of the curved surfaces. Did you notice this before?
  2. Select an object and describe it using as many of your senses as possible and then share your description of it and see if another person can guess what it is. Be sure not to mention the name of the object in your description.
  3. Find and carefully observe a natural object in your environment from at least three different perspectives (e.g., up close, a few feet away, etc.). Write down three observations from each perspective and hypotheses for what you see. Discuss how the observations were affected by perspective and how the explanations changed with the addition of information.
  4. Complete the group activity: "Mystery Poem: How Do We Interpret Observations?"
Back to Observer Activities
 Student's Journal:
 Unit One
 Unit Two
 Unit Three
 Unit Four
 Related Topics:
  ArrowABC's of Chimp Behavior
  ArrowDr. Jane's Scrapbook
  ArrowMultiple Intelligences
  ArrowOnline Dictionary
  ArrowTree Sketching Guide
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