An important skill scientists must have is the ability to read and understand literature that describes research done by other scientists in their field. This lesson asks students to read a published account of bird research and tests their ability to grasp key components of that research. All science begins with questions and not necessarily complicated questions that, in some cases, high school and middle school students might pose. In the case of this article, Hubbard Brook researcher Nick Rodenhouse asks the question: How do birds chose a location for their nests? The provided article demonstrates to students how a series of research questions or hypotheses are posed by scientists and how data are collected to support or reject these hypotheses. If students are successful at parsing out the hypotheses and experimental design of the study described in the article provided, they will not only have mastered reading comprehension for a science article, but also developed skills that will allow them to understand how science operates by building on previous work.
Skill level: Advanced
Classes appropriate for: Biology, Environmental Science