Burns, Loree Griffin. 2012. CITIZEN SCIENTISTS. Photos by Ellen Harasimowicz. New York: Henry Holt. ISBN 9780805090628 [Suggested Grade Levels 3- 8]
The thrill of gathering field data is brought to life in this introduction to scientific observation and data collection. Readers can discover and experience science on a very real, personal level by participating in environmental studies or simply exploring in a park or their back yard. Whether it’s questioning where Monarch butterflies go or a ladybug search and count activity, young people can get involved firsthand in science that is relevant to their own life.
The book is organized into four sections by seasons. Each season explains a different sort of citizen project, brightly illustrated by Harasimowicz’s photographs. The chapters begin with general information and follows with a detailed guide for joining the project. Charts and maps fit add further information.
Not everyone will want to do the data collections, but this book shows children ways science works and the discoveries that result from science explorations. Simply stopping for a while to enjoy nature is the underlying theme of this book and it’s one to browse or read straight through.
Take a nature walk and count the birds you see. Have the children keep a nature list on the walk. If you don’t know them, return to the library and use a field guide to narrow down the group they are in or identify them if you can.
Other books for children about getting involved in collecting data for science investigations:
Li, Judith L. ELLIE’S LOG: EXPLORING THE FOREST WHERE THE GREAT TREE FELL. ISBN 9780870716966
Noonan, Diana. COLLECTING DATA IN ANIMAL INVESTIGATIONS.
By Shirley Duke