Journaling about Arizona’s Wildlife

Historical journals are an invaluable tool for helping us understand the past. Historians use journals to learn about life in the past. Similarly, scientists can use journals of early explorers to learn about the wildlife of an area at a certain point in time. However, journals are not always straightforward. In this activity, students will study passages from historic journals to draw conclusions about wildlife species and populations prior to Arizona’s settlement. Then, they will have the opportunity to write their own journals to describe their observations.

The lesson is available as a downloadable PDF that includes ideas to extend and modify the lesson for different audiences.


  • How do we communicate science?
  • Why are good observation skills important?
  • How do biologists study wildlife populations and movements?


This lesson has been correlated to the following Arizona Department of Education academic standards:

Science – High School

  • S2.C1.PO4
  • S4.C3.PO2

Social Studies – High School

  • S1.C1.PO6
  • S4.C6.PO1

College and Career Ready – 9th-10th Grade

  • 9-12.RST.1
  • 9-10.RST.7
  • 9-12.WHST.4

This lesson is also correlated to the Next Generation Science Standards and the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Standards. Please see the lesson plan for more information.


Eric Proctor, Wildlife Education coordinator, Arizona Game and Fish Department



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