go to the Tree of Life home page
document your work with images, sounds, text and movies

Document your work with multimedia, then publish it as a treehouse.

How to document your work and documentation examples:

See the Multimedia Reference for information on the technical aspects of each type of documentation.

Related Activities


Documenting Your Work

Why Document Your Work?

Document your work in order to publish it as a Treehouse

Join Tree of Life contributors from around the globe to create an open access digital library about biodiversity that presents the research of a wide array of learners and scientists.

Relate Your Message

Think about telling someone a story, describing to others the results of an exciting investigation, or explaining how to play a game. In what ways can you communicate your message? You may use words to relate your message, or you may use pictures, sounds and movies to draw your audience into the experience. Publishing a treehouse is a multimedia format for sharing with others the story of your work, whether it is a scientific investigation, a poem or artwork of your favorite organism. Therefore, before and during the creation of your treehouse, you need to think about how you will document your work so that you can share it with others.

Inform Your Own Research

Documenting research is an integral part of the research process that will shape the analysis of your work and the conclusions that you can draw. Using multiple forms of media (multimedia) to record your work will inform your research process, and can in some cases even provide the basis for your work.

Record, Celebrate and Support Biodiversity

Scientists can use audio and video recordings of organisms, from birds, and whales to bighorn sheep, in order to support endeavors such as understanding behavior, studying variation, mapping location and supporting conservation efforts. Presenting to others a multi-faceted description of an organism, especially when it is rare or unfamiliar helps to bring the organism alive to the audience.

Review the sections below to learn about:

Text Examples

The links below will open in a new window.

Text examples on the ToL
Text examples on other sites
Text (Written) Documentation

There are several ways to record your research process in a written format, including:

Journals can be recorded in a notebook and sections transferred to digital format (with a word processing program). Formal reports are generally typed and printed.

Science Journal

What should you record in a science journal?

Personal Journal

What should you record in a personal journal?

Formal Report

What should you record in a formal report?

Research projects generally involve a combination of a science journal and a formal report for written documentation. However, the personal journal is also a really helpful format because it allows you to think about your research on a more personal level and view your work from a different perspective. 

A written journal will include visual representations of observations and other data. This brings us to the next way to document research: visual documentation. 

Visual Examples

The links below will open in a new window.

Image examples on the ToL
Image examples on other sites
Movie examples on the ToL
Movie examples on other sites
movieimage Visual Documentation



Movies taken with a digital camera, or if you have the time and editing software, movies captured with digital video cameras.

These movies should be short so that they can be easily uploaded and downloaded. One minute or less is a good limit to ensure they are small enough in size for ToL web pages. Movies can capture:


Audio Examples

The links below will open in a new window.

Sound examples on the ToL

Sound examples on other sites

sound Audio Documentation

Sound recording

Sound recordings can be made using a digital camera or video camera with the lens kept on. They can also be made with digital audio recorders (many MP3 players can also record digital audio) or by using a microphone plugged into a computer.

One minute or less is a good limit to ensure the sound files are small enough in size for ToL web pages. Sounds can capture:


Building Treehouses

ToL Learning


building treehouses

building for teachers

Builders Toolkit

planning guide

treehouse tools

adding images/media

tips & guidelines