Here is a guide to creating your own phenology wheel! You can use round things you find in your house to create the circles (like the bottom of a jar or cup) and a ruler to create the lines.
- First, draw a small circle. This is where you are going to write or draw the location or thing you are going to be observing. Some examples include the view outside your bedroom window, a tree you’ve seen on a nature walk, or even the night sky!
- Then, draw a circle around the smaller circle. This is where you will record your observations with writing or drawing.
- Draw one more circle around the two circles you have already drawn. This area is where you will write the timescale you are going to be making observations in (seasons, months, days, hours, minutes).
- Finally, you want to draw lines from the outside of your middle circle to the outermost circle. If you are making observations for a whole month, you’ll want to draw as many lines around the circle as there are days in a month. If you’re making observations for a whole year, you can draw twelve lines for every month of the year.
Now you are ready to make your observations! It will take some time to complete your wheel - and that’s okay!
Here are some guiding prompts for your phenology wheel. You can using any of these prompts to record your observations for however long you’d like!
Some things to think about…
- Pick one organism (a plant or animal) that you normally see everyday and make observations about what it is doing each day.
- What’s growing in your garden? Track changes and growth in your garden using a phenology wheel.
- What’s going on right outside your window? Take a look outside your window every day over the course of a week and make observations about what you see.
- Look up at the sky! Each night, record your observations of the moon throughout its phases on your phenology wheel.
- How many different kinds of birds can you spot outside your house each day?
- Meet a tree! Choose a tree and make observations about it. Do the leaves stay on it the whole year? Do they change color? What likes to live in or hang out on the tree? What is changing and what is staying the same?
- What’s the weather like? You can use your wheel to keep track of what the weather is like every day. You can even record the temperature that day and include it on your wheel!
- Take a look at your completed wheel. Do you notice any patterns? What changes did you observe?
- Why do you think it’s important to notice changes in nature? Why do you think scientists want to study phenology?