2 March Science 7 Focused Field Study proposal











(Bee photos by Satyaj.)

Work on plan for Parent Student Teacher conference:

Make a plan for what and how you are going to show your work during the upcoming parent conference. Work you are proud of, examples of real learning, things that have stimulated your thinking, challenges–concepts, science practices/skills, work habits, focus, perseverance, what you want to work on to meet/overcome challenges, your thoughts on being ready for 8th grade science, your longer-term educational ambitions.

Focused Field Investigation

As you select some possible questions to investigate, begin developing plans for how you will investigate. What will you observe? How will you observe (without interfering with what you are observing)? How will you define variables? What will you count and/or measure? What background information will you need? How much time will you need in direct observation? What is a back-up plan in case your target object of study is not viewable when you are attempting to observe it? See outline and sample questions below.

Spreadsheet for questions periods 5,6,8 March 2017


Pictures from field study (let me know if you have some to upload and I will give you editing privileges): https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B4DPwlouN3dIblNIRGhLbXFoSlE?usp=sharing

  1. Students design and carry out a naturalistic field investigation(with a finer focus than the Biodiversity Survey). Attention is directed toward a specific organism / population / interaction.
  2. Data is collected and analyzed.
  3. Analysis is made and conclusions drawn with respect to structures, behaviors, successful reproduction and / or population.
  4. Notice the performance indicator from the Next Generation Science Standards:
Use argument based on empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support an explanation for how characteristic animal behaviors and specialized plant structures affect the probability of successful reproduction of animals and plants respectively.
  1. Presentation of survey and analysis in a format appropriate to the study decided by individual students in consultation with teacher.
  • SEP
  • Analyzing and interpreting data
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
  • CC
  • Structure and function
  • Stability and change
  • DCI
  • Growth, development, and reproduction of Organisms
  • Natural selection and adaptations

Report outline (text, presentation, poster, other)

  • Paper copy / hard copy.
  • Electronic copy in digital science notebook. Link on blog with comment/reflection—see below.
  • Introduction:
  • Explanation of how the report is organized.
  • Question.
  • Expectation. (Suspected answer to the question and why.
  • Background:
  • Information from reading other reliable and cited sources (includes videos and websites).
  • At least 3 sources.
  • Methods:
  • How observations were made. (Minimum total observation time = 60 minutes)
  • How data were analyzed.
  • Results/Data:
  • Organized. Well-presented. Labeled and described.
  • Counts.
  • Measures.
  • Calculations.
  • Graphs.
  • Verbal descriptions and anecdotal records.
  • Sketches / drawings / diagrams / maps
  • Photographs. (May be separate, linked well-labelled files). Captions and descriptions.
  • Video segments (may be linked to youtube uploads—on middle school channel). Captions and descriptions.
  • Analysis:
  • Link the results to question to background to growth, development, reproduction, adaptation. Refer to expectation.
  • Conclusion:
  • Short summary of investigation and findings. New questions. Suggestion for new methods / improved methods.


  • Reflection posted on blog with link to report.
  • A substantial reflection of what you noticed through both field studies. Describe your experience of observing nature in the school yard. What thoughts do you have about how nature relates to you and you to nature?

Examples of field study questions:

  • How many kinds of bird can be seen during surveys (times, dates) on the AES campus?
  • How many specimens of certain species of bird can be seen/counted during censuses carried out on the AES campus ( times, dates)?
  • How many active nests can be found? What species? What behavior can be observed?
  • Develop a list of behaviors (ethogram) observed in a species (bird, for example). Develop a time budget based on the list of behaviors.
  • Focus on particular behaviors, courtship and mating, for example?
  • How many kinds of spider can be found during (times, dates)? How many of each kind? Where?
  • What patterns of behavior can be observed with spiders? What kinds of prey can be observed?
  • How many kinds of ant can be found during (times, dates)? How many of each kind? Where?
  • What is the location of ant nests by species?
  • How many kinds of butterfly? Abundance? Distribution? Feeding pattern? Caterpillars? Pupae?
  • What are the flight patterns of a certain species of bird (take off, landing, flying)?
  • For two closely related species observed on campus, what are the similarities and differences in their ways of life?
  • What is the repertoire of vocalizations of certain species?
  • In observing a section of the schoolyard with flowering plants, what animal visitors come to the flowers? What are the times, sequences, patterns of action associated with the visitors?
  • What is the pattern of visits by animals to specific species? How does the number of visits of potential pollination compare with visits that involve nectar robbery?
  • How many different kinds of bird can be seen on the AES campus during specified times / dates?
  • What is the most abundant bird seen on the campus? Where is it seen? When is it seen? What activities are observed? What is a reasonable estimate for the population that actually lives on campus / visits the campus?
  • How many kinds of call can be discerned for the Indian house crow? for the common myna? How can the calls be described? notated (like music)?
  • How many different behaviors can be described for the blue rock pigeon? (Develop an ethogram for the blue rock pigeon–construct a time budget to accompany an ethogram) (An ethogram is a complete catalog of an animal’s patterns of behavior. Enough detail is provided so that another observer can readily pick them out. Ideally:
    There is no attempt to explain cause of the behavior in the ethogram.
    • The name given to the pattern should be selected to be
    descriptive and not to infer function. <http://college.holycross.edu/faculty/kprestwi/behavior/e&be_notes/E&BE_ethograms.pdf>)
  • How many active nests can be found on the AES campus? Where are they? What species are nesting? What are the patterns of behavior associated with nesting?
  • How does the blue rock pigeon (or any other easily observed species) take off, fly from place to place, land?
  • What are the flight patterns of the black kite? See: A Study of Bird Flight by E.H. Hankin. Hankin was an English scientist working in India. He observed evidence of bacteriophage activity before bacteriophages were discovered. He did some pioneering studies of bird flight. One of the species he observed was the black kite. The paper below has some observations, including various sketches, of the black kite (pariah kite; cheel in Hindi). It was published in 1911. <https://ia600401.us.archive.org/19/items/AStudyOfBirdFlight/StudyofBirdFlight.pdf>
  • What are the patterns of preening (including the time budget) for preening in the blue rock pigeon (or any species)?
  • What postures does a blue rock pigeon (or other species) display while perched?
  • What interactions occur between members of the same species?Animals outside the class of birds
  • How many different kinds of spider can be found in the middle school rocks?
  • What behaviors can be observed in the Northern palm squirrel <http://eol.org/pages/313086/names/common_names>?


About rfrazier

AES profile = http://aes.ac.in/viewprofile.php?u=6946
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