An important part of practicing biomimicry is developing the ability to observe nature. This curriculum provides a number of activities to help students focus and hone their observation skills, using multiple senses.

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Like reading the written word, students need to continuously practice and apply outdoor observation skills to become proficient at interpreting their environment. The curriculum progressively builds skills for K-8 students through demonstrations and practice in real world situations. The guide shows how the curriculum meets Next Generation Science Standards and how activities can be tailored for different ages. While not specifically written with Biomimicry in mind, the activities in this curriculum will be useful for teachers looking for ideas to help students tune into nature’s strategies.

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  • UNIT 1: Learn how to take good field notes in a science notebook; Use all the senses to make observations; Use a science notebook to practice writing about experiences at a Sit Spot; Transfer notes from a science notebook to the data collection form.

  • UNIT 2: Understand the difference between digital and analog clocks; Learn how to record time using standard and military notation; Understand the different date formats, including NatureMapping’s standard.

  • UNIT 3: Learn to use field guides; Use Mind’s Eye Imagining to develop a mental picture of the animal; Measure an animal’s size using fingers, hands, and arms; Measure an animal’s size and tracks using rulers (standard and metric), measuring tapes, and calipers; Learn how to estimate the size of an animal based on the observer’s proximity to the animal; Estimate the number of individual animals in a large group by using the grid method.

  • UNIT 4: Understand field guides; Learn about different animal (or plant) species; Learn about different animal (or plant) species; Build observation skills in the field; Use their senses (smell, touch, hearing, sight) and their perceptions of animals’ movements to identify animals.

  • UNIT 5: Understand cardinal directions; Practice using maps; Learn how to use a compass; Use a GPS unit and understand latitude/longitude coordinates.

  • UNIT 6: Understand how scientists and students can use data to answer questions; Learn how to transfer data from data collection forms to a spreadsheet; Use cognitive-thinking skills.

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