Keeping a Field Journal

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In this activity, learners start their own field journal to better understand the wildlife in their area. Learners select an animal to observe, record observations about the animal's appearance and behavior, and draw a picture of the animal. Learners also record questions they have about the animal and consider which questions they could answer if they could go to the lab and analyze the animal's DNA. This resource includes a sample journal entry that learners can use as a model.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
free per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 11

Resource Types:
Activity, Field Trip


Materials List (per student)

  • notebook or paper
  • pen or pencil
  • wildlife or pet to observe


  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
    • Heredity and Genetics
      • DNA Structure and Function
  • Mathematics
    • Data Analysis and Probability
      • Data Analysis
      • Data Collection
      • Data Representation
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results
    • Science as a Career

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • see color
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access


Source Collection

  • Ology


  • All rights reserved, American Museum of Natural History,