Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly: Sixth graders: read this post about credible sources

(photo from Wikipedia)

Hi sixth graders working on the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly Restoration Project! I'm so excited that you're reading my blog and getting ideas for your project! Click here to read the original post I wrote after my daughter told me about the endangered Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly...BUT BEFORE YOU DO..., please think about what your teacher is asking you to do. If you're looking for a few details about the butterfly, I have listed some in my post, and I hope you find them useful. I promise you I did not make them up. But even though I promise you I didn't make anything up, this is ultimately just a blog. Like any blog you might read - even the ones that LOOK really official, it doesn't necessarily contain accurate, objective, reliable, credible, or valid information. In other words, a lot of what you read on the Internet MAY be true, but you can't really tell for sure. One way to tell for sure if the information you're getting is reliable, is to use use a good website by a credible agency.

If you do a google search and look at the end part of the URL for the different sites that pop up, lots of times sites with .gov or .org or .edu are reliable, but this is still NOT a rule. Lots of times, you can get good information from a .com, but I am still always suspicious (and you should be too) about any information I read with .com at the end of it.

If you're questioning whether a source is reliable or not, please ask your parents or your teacher.

Perhaps these links will help you on your quest to find good information about the Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly and restoration projects going on around us...

This brochure about butterfly restoration is published by Howard County.

This booklet that contains lots of info about the butterfly is published by the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.

This info about a restoration project is published by a nearby nature center.

This site about restoration might look a little bit like a blog, but was written by a professor at a well-known college and also lists the places where he got his information from (all reliable sources too!).

This is a little bit of info published by the State of Maryland.

Hope you get my point about using credible sources of information.

OK, have fun with your project - aren't you lucky that you have such a cool science class?!!


  1. Excellent point about checking your resources. How DO kids do well-researched projects these days? When I was a kid, if I could find it in a book, I took it for granted that it was fairly credible, otherwise nobody would go through the trouble of publishing the book, right? With the internet, anyone can publish anything, and you just never know; although you make a good point about some sites being more likely to be reliable than others.

  2. Useful tips. I agree with what you said and I feel the same too.

  3. I like to smell my armpits!

  4. You are good at this. Sure wish your daughter had to do a paper on the archtypal hero in Greek or Roman mythology. (Mikey has to do a paper while he's recoving and I am not much help.)

    It will be interesting to see how many extra hits your site gets from this.

  5. I fully trust those url which ends with .edu :-D They usually have good details.

    Btw, that Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly is a beauty!

  6. I think this is very good advice! My daughter is always spouting off this strange medical information and I sometimes raise my eyebrows at her "facts". Good lesson here.

  7. anonymous - I hope you bathe regularly.

    I think it's probably REALLY hard to sift through the information out there these days! Gone are the days you went straight to the encyclopedias for info! I was thinking about removing my original post because though I provided accuate info, I didn't want to come across as a professional source, and didn't want to confuse the kids b/c scarily enough, when you google Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfuy, this blog comes up on page one. But then I thought I'd add a little lesson on credible sources instead (former middle school teacher speaking). ha ha!

    Lindalou - can't help ya with the mythology! :)

  8. Hi Wendy~~ You're the perfect balance between friendly and authoritative. ... This subject matter is something I've tried to drill into my kids too. Just because it's on the Internet, doesn't mean it's completely factual. Check your references. Sooner or later, it clicks. Beautiful butterfly by the way. Is that brutal weather easing up yet?

  9. Excuse me Wendy I know that some kind of bird eats the Checkerspot butterfly, but what kind? From: Me To: W :)


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