As I mentioned in my first post, I recently graduated with my masters degree. Interestingly, my degree was not in social studies, but rather integrated math and science. Last night, this wonderful group of people got together after a very relaxing summer without our professors (sorry Paul) checking up on the progress of our papers. It was great to catch up before the new school year begins. The image above was taken a year ago while we were out one day learning to take data and measurements out in the field.
Now, being the social studies person on our team, it was interesting finding a topic to do my research paper on since I don't teach the science. Then, I discovered Teddy Roosevelt's observational science journal that he created at age nine and they are DIGITIZED and my problem was solved!! WOO-HOO! Inspiration! This gave me the opportunity to have the students analyze the primary source documents and see the journal as an inspiration for their own writing. Over the course of three months, the kids learned not only about Teddy and his love of nature, but they also developed their own observational science skills and regularly responded in their journal.
Above: single page from TR's journal at nine years old. The entire journal can be downloaded from the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University at http://www.theodorerooseveltcenter.org/Research/Digital-Library/Record.aspx?libID=o280234
Below: slideshow of student work in their "Teddy Roosevelt" observational science journals. Image for the front cover can be found at http://tr.amnh.org/printout courtesy of the American Museum of Natural History.