TABLE OF CONTENTS

Science Collection

Atomic Energy Levels - Video Clips

IN COLLECTION
Summary:

This unit on Ecosystems, Biomes and Pond Life will take approximately 8 weeks to complete (depending on complexity of projects). Students will examine the ecosystems of ponds to develop scientific process skills, such as using a microscope, and to research and plan a pond for the school. They will use the Delta Pond Life kit, with supplemental texts and websites as noted in Procedures below.

Lasting Ideas & Results:

Through the lens of our overarching goal of Urban Beautification, students will discover how they affect ecosystems and how they can beautify their local environment. Students will understand that organisms and their environments are interconnected, that changes in one part of the system will affect other parts and that humans can alter the living and non-living factors within an ecosystem.


 

Essential Question(s): What is an ecosystem? What are food chains and food webs? How is matter and energy transferred/transformed in living systems? How do we affect our environment and the ecosystems within it? How can we beautify our school by providing a sustainable pond ecosystem?

Desired Learner Outcomes: Enter the skills and knowledge students will acquire through the learning activities in this lesson.

Students will be able to...
Students will know...
identify parts and features of an ecosystem, and the habitats of the populations living within it how elements of an ecosystem work together
the parts of a food chain and food web and how energy is transferred within themhow food chains and webs and energy pyramids work
identify different natural and human ecosystemsthat humans affect natural ecosystems
observe a specimen through magnifiers and microscopes and compare differences in magnificationthe proper way to view objects through various magnifiers
observe a pond ecosystem, record observations, classify living and nonliving features of the pond and identify the habitat of each organism at the pondhow living and nonliving features of a pond are an ecosystem
set up an aquarium to simulate a pond water ecosystem and compare and contrast this ecosystem with the one visited how our classroom pond ecosystem compares to a natural pond
observe the appearance, movement and location of the macroscopic organisms in their aquariums, identify ways in which plants and animals are adapted to life in a pondwhat plants and animals they observe in our classroom pond ecosystem
describe how microscopic organisms are adapted to life in a pond and observe the characteristics of these microscopic organismshow to use a microscope to observe organisms
to develop research questions about pond ecosystems from observations of aquariums, find the answers to those questions and identify unknown organismshow to identify the microscopic organisms found in pond water and how to research specific topics
compare the populations of microscopic organisms in a hay infusion with those in their aquariumsmicroscopic organisms are found in all ecosystems in different quantities and varieties
to identify the parts of a pond snail, to describe and measure the snail's movement, to observe the snail's reaction to various stimuli, and to discuss how a pond snail is adapted to its environmentSnails are unlike the other organisms observed in the pond, and their movement and response to stimuli can be measured and recorded
to identify features of experiments (control and variable, hypothesis), make hypotheses, design experiments to test their hypotheses, and compare their results to a control aquariumScientists make and test hypotheses to solve problems. When designing an experiment, you need to create variables and study them in comparison to a control situation.


Standards: 5.3 Life Science: B. Matter and Energy Transformations and C. Interdependence
 



 

Daily Engagement Activities:

Outline the activities students will complete on a day-to-day basis.

Lesson Number Lesson Day
Description of Activities
******Note: This section only includes a brief description of daily activities. See Procedure section below for lesson detail.
Day 1MondayIntroduction to unit; review of ecosystems/biomes
Day 2 TuesdayScience reading strategies and biome reading; creation of fieldwork vocabulary notecards
Days 3-9Wednesday - ThursdayBiome Research Project
Day 10FridayFarmers Market (no science)
Day 11MondayFood Chains and Food Webs reading and strategies
Day 12Tuesday Energy Pyramid construction
Day 13 Wednesday Introduction to Pond Ecosystems
Day 14 Thursday Delta Pond Life Activity 1 (Ecosystem Map)
Day 15 Friday Delta Pond Life Activity 1 (Ecosystem Map)
Day 16Monday Delta Pond Life Activity 2 (Using a Magnifier)
Day 17Tuesday Introduction to using a microscope
Day 18Wednesday Delta Pond Life Activity 4 (Building a Pond Ecosystem)
Day 19ThursdayDelta Pond Life Activity 5 (Macroscopic Pond Life)
Day 20FridayEcosystems Vocabulary Review
Day 21
Tues. 10/13
Delta Pond Life Activity 6 (Microscopic Pond Life)
Day 22
Wed. 10/14
Pond Question Research
Day 23Thurs. 10/15 Delta Pond Life Activity 7 (Life in a Hay Infusion)
Day 24 Fri. 10/16Delta Pond Life Activity 6b (Microscopic Pond Life Part 2)
Day 25Mon. 10/19 Delta Pond Life Activity 9 (Observing Fish) and Delta Pond Life Activity 10 (Investigating Duckweed)
Day 26Tues. 10/20 Delta Pond Life Activity 11 (Aquatic Food Chains)
Day 27Wed. 10/21 Delta Pond Life Activity 12 (Investigating Pond Life)
Day 28Thurs. 10/22 Delta Pond Life Activity 7b (Life in a Hay Infusion Part 2)
Day 29Fri. 10/23 Delta Pond Life Activity 8 (Observing Pond Snails)
Day 30 Mon. 10/26
Delta Pond Life Activity 9 and 10 (Observing Fish and Investigating Duckweed)
Day 31
Tues. 10/27
Delta Pond Life Activity 7b (Life in a Hay Infusion Part 2) and Microscopic Pond Life Investigation
Day 32
Wed. 10/28
Delta Pond Life Activity 11 (Aquatic Food Chains)
Day 33
Thurs. 10/29
Questions and Answers about our pond
Day 34 Fri. 10/30
Questions and Answers about our pond
Day 35Mon. 11/2-Wed. 11/4 Pond Life Assessments
Day 38Mon. 11/9 BioPond Research and Data Collection Plan
NOTE: Next portion of this Unit will not take place until after BioPond field trip on November 20th
Day 39Fri., 11/20 Field trip to BioPond and investigation of samples




Summative Assessment(s): Use this table to describe tools/data that will demonstrate students' increased understanding and ability. You may wish to reference the specific learner outcome being measured by each type of assessment.

Describe Performance Tasks
Explain &/or Reference Criteria
Features of an Ecosystem QuizAnswer key
Three part assessmentDemonstrate knowledge of process; identify parts of pond ecosytem and identification of elements of food chains
Biome Research ProjectResearch and presentation rubric
ongoing formative assessments See daily assessment criteria under Procedures


Pre-Requisite Knowledge & Skills:

Utilize K-W-L to activate prior knowledge of unit. Students should already have basic knowledge of measurement techniques (using a ruler, balance, etc.).
 

Procedures:

Day 1
Do Now: Copy homework (Ecologist reading comprehension). Brain dump about ecosystems: write down everything you remember about ecosystems.

Watch and discuss Discovery Education Ecosystems video. Class discussion to create concept map of ecosystems/biomes using diagram handout.

Shared reading and discussion of http://www.nhptv.org/natureworks/nwepecosystems.htm.

(Daily Assessment: teacher observation)

Day 2

Do Now: Copy homework (Biome 101 reading comprehension from EdHelper.net). Review questions from prior day's activity.

Introduce importance of scientific vocabulary by handing out fieldwork vocabulary notebooks (index cards on a binder ring). Model process for vocabulary notecards (word, definition, description or example) by defining ecosystem based on prior day's study.

Shared reading of "The Green Desert" and "The Grasslands" passages from Spectrum 5th Grade Science. While reading "The Green Desert", model strategies for finding information in a nonfiction passage (looking for bold/italicized words, reading sidebars carefully, read questions first, etc.). Add pertinent vocabulary (biome, climate, etc.) to vocabulary notecards. As a class, answer questions by returning to the text for evidence and explicitly stating how we found our answers. After reading "The Grasslands", students will find answers on their own to check use of science reading strategies. (Daily assessment: The Grasslands essay questions; teacher observation)

Day 3

Do Now: Pair Share with a partner about difficult words/concepts from homework. Star passages you still do not understand.

Review homework (Biome 101), asking students to point out how they found their answers and concepts/words they still did not understand.

Introduce Biome Research Project. Group students by counting off (6 groups of 3) by biome: Desert, Grassland, Tundra, Freshwater, Ocean, Forest. Use Internet to find information about their biome. Review task (printed on chart paper): 1) Name at least 5 characteristics of your biome; 2) What animals and plants live in your biome? 3) In what parts of the world is your biome? 4) Name and describe one ecosystem of your biome. 5) Present your findings by a) creating a poster and 5) teaching the class about your biome. Ask students to divide work and plan out research by the end of the period. (Daily assessment: teacher observation and conferences with groups; research plan; Project assessment: individual and group research and presentation rubrics)

Days 4-7 Continue work on Biome Research Project and create poster. (Daily assessment: teacher observation and group check-in; single student conferences)

Days 8-9: Group presentations (20 minutes per group). While students are presenting, other students are taking notes on vocabulary notecards to define biomes, asking group for necessary information and clarification for notecards. (Daily assessment: presentation rubric; vocabulary notecards)

Day 10: Farmers Market Trip

Day 11:

Do Now: Copy homework (FoodWeb sheet). QOTD: What do they mean by the phrase "We're at the top of the food chain?"

Shared reading and discussion of Food Chains and Food Webs "What's for Dinner?". Add pertinent vocabulary (food chain, food web, energy pyramid, trophic level, producer, consumer, decomposer) to vocabulary notecards. Work in small groups on interactive Food Web bulletin board (Ocean Food Webs). Students will build food web from plants, animals, resources and arrows on bulletin board. (Daily assessment: completed bulletin board; food chain essay questions)

Day 12

Do Now: Copy homework (finish energy pyramid questions). Bulletin board picture sort: students will place pictures under the appropriate heading of Producer, Consumer, Decomposer (2 pictures per student).

Complete Ecological Pyramid guided inquiry in small groups based on Instruction Sheet (for students as well as teacher). Students will build and complete their own pyramid based on cues from instruction sheet in small groups after first two steps are modeled by teacher. Then students will use completed pyramid to answer questions about energy pyramids. (Daily Assessment: completed pyramids and pyramid questions)

Day 13

Do Now: Question of the day: Name and describe 3 different ecosystems in Camden.

Introduction to pond ecosystems through shared reading of http://www.mbgnet.net/fresh/lakes/index.htm. (Pond and Lake Ecosystems) and http://www.yvw.com.au/waterschool/juniors.html (Life in a Pond) as viewed on projector. Reinforce incentive plan to earn trip to BioPond by showing students http://www.bio.upenn.edu/facilities/greenhouse/biopond/. Add pertinent vocabulary (as chosen by students) to vocabulary notecards.

(Daily assessment: teacher observation)

Day 14

Do Now: Copy homework (complete map). Question of the day: What do a space shuttle and a pond have in common? (they are both ecosystems)

Give Ecosystems Quiz 1 (formative assessment). Complete Delta Activity 1, Ecosystems and Habitats. Begin lesson by discussing QOTD responses. Then ask students to volunteer natural and human ecosystems and write them on the board. Next, look at Google map of ECO's surrounding area and nearby ecosystems. Then, introduce neighborhood map by having students volunteer categories of ecosystems surrounding our school to create a map key (schools, stores, homes, etc.). In small groups, students will code a neighborhood ecosystem map. (Daily Assessment: quiz, teacher observation and map) Note: Due to Picture Day, the map was not completed.

Day 15

Continuation of Day 14. Review local ecosystems and continue work on maps. Introduce new vocabulary word "habitat" and create vocabulary card. Review separate habitats of a pond by visiting http://www.yvw.com.au/waterschool/juniors.html to have students generate a list of the 5 separate habitats of a pond ecosystem. Then, students will color code a pond map to reflect the different habitats and add organisms to their map. (Daily Assessment: teacher observation and map)

Day 16

Do Now: QOTD: Why do we need to magnify things?

Model two ways to focus the magnifier. Add vocabulary words (in pairs) to field notecards (field, lens, focus, magnification, power, specimen). Following Delta Pond LIfe Activity 2, students will use magnifiers in pairs to view newspapers under magnification. Then, to check and reinforce understanding, students will rotate through magnification stations to view slides, plants, soil, water, soda and insects to practice using a magnifier. (Daily Assessment: teacher observation and Magnification Station lab sheet)

Day 17

Do Now: Copy homework (How Microscopes Work) and rotate through microscope stations to view categories of images (plants, algae, blood and tissue cells, water)

Introduce using a microscope by reading http://shs.westport.k12.ct.us/mjvl/biology/microscope/microscope.htm. Model using zoomscope how to place a slide and adjust magnification and focus. Have students take step-by-step notes in their science notebooks. Caution students that today is an introducation, and that mastering focus of a microscope takes time. In small groups, have students take turns placing a slide, adjusting focus and magnification and viewing an image. (Daily Assessment: teacher observation)
 

Day 18
NOTE: If shipment from Delta is late, spend another day viewing slides and practicing with microscopes

Do Now: Copy Homework: Finish Aquarium questions. QOTD: What does an aquarium ecosystem need?

Following Delta Activity 4, students will build their own pond ecosystems in aquariums (in pairs) and observe the habitats in their aquarium. After cleaning up, they will create concentric circles of construction paper for vocabulary terms ecosystem, habitat, community, population and organism to represent the increasing levels of complexity in an ecosystem. (Daily Assessment: teacher observation)

Day 19

Do Now: Copy homework (What will your aquarium look like in 2 weeks?) QOTD: Choose an organism in your aquarium and describe its attributes (size, shape, color, movement and habitat).
Following Delta Activity 5, introduce term macroscopic and add to vocabulary notecards. Review characteristics we can describe in organisms (color, size, shape, movement, habitat). Have students work with their partner to view the plants and animals of their aquariums with a magnifier (after carefully placing eah item in a petri dish), recording their observations on Activity Sheet 5. Discuss characteristics of each animal and create class T-chart (today, Macroscopic side). (Daily Assessment: teacher observation, lab sheet)

Day 20 (1/2 day)

Do Now: Take out your homework.

Discuss previous day's observations of macroscopic organisms in the aquarium. View and discuss fish and baby under the ZoomScope. Brainstorm and chart a list of research questions students have about organisms. To review concepts and vocabulary learned so far, play Ecosystem and Pond Life Jeopardy. (Daily assessments: Recording sheets and teacher observation)

Day 21 (Microscopic Observations)

Do Now: Get your aquarium and a tray of supplies

Following Delta Activity 6, introduce term microscopic and add to vocabulary notecards. Review macroscopic organisms and their characteristics from the prior week. Ask students to predict organisms they may find floating in their water. Model preparing slides and viewing them under the microscope with the zoomscope. Students will create depression slides from the water in their aquariums and observe them using Activity Sheet 6 using Pocketscopes and microscopes. Students will observe microscopic organisms in the water and re-observe daphnia observed the week before. Students will work in groups with a field guide and the computer to research what the organisms they discover are. Add to questions brainstormed the week before. (Daily Assessment: teacher observation, lab sheet)

Day 22 (Pond Life Research)

Do Now: Talk to your partner about any additional questions you would like to research about our aquariums.

Take students to computer lab to research student-generated questions in small groups. Mini-lesson: Narrowing an internet search to find specific information (and/or, &, "", including as much information as possible). Research questions to include (generated by students on Day 20) : Are daphnia a type of fish, seahorse, or something else entirely? Why do damselfly nymphs look like scorpions? Do daphnia eat the anachyris and duckweed? Why do our fish eat all the duckweed so quickly when they have the anachyris? If the damselfly dies, will the daphnia feed on it? How do the damselflies catch the daphnia when they swim so quickly? why do the daphnia swim like seahorses or sea monkeys? Why do Princess' (our first dead fish) gills look beat up after her death? What happened to the baby fish? Do male fish eat their babies? [Questions to be divided by partners once we add additional questions on Day 21] If time, partners will share their research. If research takes more time, share and discuss findings on Day 23. (Daily Assessment: teacher observation, research recording sheet)

Day 23

Do Now: Take out your research

Students will discuss their research in small groups, then present their findings to the class as a whole (each group will present). Record additional questions for further research. Students will then hypothesize why our fish keep dying and how fish reproduce. They will then observe water samples under the microscope again to compare previous observations. Students will make notes of changes in the presence of microscopic organisms in their water.

Day 24 (Life in a Hay Infusion, Observation of New Snails and Aquarium Status Check)

Do Now: Do you think the microscopic organisms you found in your aquarium water will be the same in all water?

Show students hay infusion and give them time to observe. Ask students to predict the microscopic organisms living in the water. In pairs, students will create depression slides and observe through Pocketscopes and microscopes to find organisms and record drawings and descriptions. Then students will use Pond Guide and Internet to identify organisms. Have students follow lab sheet to discuss the populations and communities living in the hay infusion, and compare and contrast the hay infusion to the organisms found in aquariums. Students will then observe new snails with magnifiers, check on all living and dead organisms in their aquariums and change out their aquarium water. (Daily Assessment: teacher observation, lab sheet)

Day 25 (Observing Fish and Investigating Duckweed) NOTE: didn't teach this yet - we spent this day researching our fish and damselflies and the conditions they require, then what we could do to improve our water

Do Now: Get your aquariums and supplies (container with water and platy, lens paper, magnifiers).

Create class and individual diagram of fish body parts. Using Activity Sheet 9, students will observe platys and their responses to stimuli. Discuss movement and function of body parts (gills, fins, scales and tail).

Introduce vocabulary terms budding, frond and reproduce. Using Activity Sheet 10, students will use microscopes and lab sheet to observe and investigate characteristics of duckweed plants and then set up a duckweed experiment for future observation (how duckweed reproduce). (Daily Assessment: Teacher observation and Activity Sheets 9 and 10).
 


Day 26 (Aquatic Food Chains and Research) Note: didn't teach this yet. We spent this day testing 6 different levels in our aquariums and researching how to change dangerous levels

Do Now: Take out research and ecosystem vocabulary notecards.

Using Activity 11, review roles in ecosystems (producer, consumer, decomposer). Guide students through Aquatic Food Chains investigation sheet to classify each member of the food chain in each type of aquarium.

Next, take students to computer lab to research student-generated topics from prior week, including but not limited to: Guppies vs. Baby Fish, Necessary Temperature and Conditions of Water for Organism Survival, Our Aquarium Conditions vs. Real Pond Conditions; Ideal Conditions for Platy Birth, etc. When completed self-selected research, students will research their choice of topics selected by Delta: Six Types of Fish Fins, Fish Reproduction (egg-laying and live-bearing) and classification of fish: Bony fish (platys, guppies, catfish), cartilaginous fish (sharks, skates, rays) and jawless fish (eels, hagfish) (Daily Assessment: teacher observation, lab sheet)
 

Day 27 (Investigating Pond Life and Research)

Do now: Get your aquarium.

Introduce new vocabulary: control and variable. Using Activity Sheet 12, ask each group to brainstorm a list of investigations they could make about their aquariums. Students will then design experiments about their aquariums. After sharing experiment designs with the class and discussing variables and limitations, students will carry out experiments (or make preparations to carry out experiments) with their aquariums and necessary materials. Depending on experiments, time may be needed each day to check on data. If students have difficulty designing experiments, go to computer lab to look for help. (Daily Assessment: teacher observation, lab sheet)
 

Day 28 (Life in a Hay Infusion Part B) NOTE: Saving this lesson for next week, since losing most of Friday's science time for Symphony C concert.

Do Now: Collect supplies for hay infusion observation.

Use projector and Google Images to remind students of identity of organisms found in previous Hay Infusion investigation and ask them to predict the quantities and sizes of these organisms in the hay infusion now. Students will take additional samples of hay infusion, observe them under the Pocketscopes and microscopes and complete lab sheet. They will then take out their aquariums, check the status of all organisms and change their aquarium water. (Daily Assessment: teacher observation, lab sheet)
 

Note: If students are attending Symphony C concert in place of Science, skip this day and observe pond snails instead. Use remaining time after concert to change aquarium water and add additional organisms (replace duckweed, daphnia, etc.).

Day 29 (Pond Snails) NOTE: teaching this lesson on Day 28.

Do Now: Copy snail diagram (on board) onto vocabulary note card.

After students have drawing of snail complete, discuss function of each part of the pond snail. Students will then observe snails in petri dishes with magnifiers. Then, students will place their petri dishes on top of graph paper and time the snail's speed for 3 1-minute intervals. Discuss partner results with the class and ask students to account for differences. Then, students will test the response to stimuli as guided on the lab sheet. After students finish recording the information on their lab sheets, discuss the ways snails are adapted to their environment. If time: model converting snail's pace to miles per hour (distance/time). (Daily Assessment: teacher observation, lab sheet)

Day 30 (Observing Fish and Investigating Duckweed)

Do Now: Get your aquariums and supplies (container with water and platy, lens paper, magnifiers).

Create class and individual diagram of fish body parts. Using Activity Sheet 9, students will observe platys and their responses to stimuli. Discuss movement and function of body parts (gills, fins, scales and tail). Generate further questions for research and implement results from variables from last week's investigations in aquariums (add aquarium salt, change food, etc.).

Introduce vocabulary terms budding, frond and reproduce. Using Activity Sheet 10, students will use microscopes and lab sheet to observe and investigate characteristics of duckweed plants and then set up a duckweed experiment for future observation (how duckweed reproduce). (Daily Assessment: Teacher observation and Activity Sheets 9 and 10).
 


Day 31 (Aquatic Food Chains and Research)

Do Now: Take out research and ecosystem vocabulary notecards.

Using Activity 11, review roles in ecosystems (producer, consumer, decomposer). Guide students through Aquatic Food Chains investigation sheet to classify each member of the food chain in each type of aquarium. Review 5 habitats of a pond.

Next, take students to computer lab to research student-generated topics from prior week, including but not limited to: Guppies vs. Baby Fish, Necessary Temperature and Conditions of Water for Organism Survival, Our Aquarium Conditions vs. Real Pond Conditions; Ideal Conditions for Platy Birth, etc. When completed self-selected research, students will research their choice of topics selected by Delta: Six Types of Fish Fins, Fish Reproduction (egg-laying and live-bearing) and classification of fish: Bony fish (platys, guppies, catfish), cartilaginous fish (sharks, skates, rays) and jawless fish (eels, hagfish) (Daily Assessment: teacher observation, lab sheet)

Day 32 (Life in a Hay Infusion Part B) and Microscopic Organisms of Aquariums [NOTE: Scrap Hay Infusion portion of lesson due to mold in hay infusion]

Do Now: Collect supplies for hay infusion observation.

Use projector and Google Images to remind students of identity of organisms found in previous Hay Infusion investigation and ask them to predict the quantities and sizes of these organisms in the hay infusion now. Students will take additional samples of hay infusion, observe them under the Pocketscopes and microscopes and complete lab sheet. They will then take out their aquariums, check the status of all organisms and change their aquarium water. (Daily Assessment: teacher observation, lab sheet)

Day 33 (Questions and Answers about our Aquariums) NOTE: Pushed back to following week to extend research and discussion opportunities

Do Now: Review your notes from aquarium life.

Ask students for steps to answer essay questions (write down important information, rephrase the question, use supporting details, etc.). Model answering one essay question about pond life (from Delta), then have students answer one together on chart paper. Then, students will answer a question individually, looking in their notes for supporting details to fully answer the question. If students are in need of supporting details, go to computer lab to collect additional data. (Assessment: Essay Questions)

Day 34 (Questions and Answers about our Aquariums NOTE: Pushed back to following week to extend research and discussion opportunities

Do Now: Compare and contrast our aquariums to ponds.

Have students get aquariums. Review steps for answering essay questions. Students will use data from aquariums, test strips and prior investigation to synthesize information and answer two additional essay questions (from Delta). (Assessment: Essay Questions)

Day 35

Do Now: Review your research notes from last week. Homework: Study notes.

Part 1: Research discussion. Continue sharing of student research from prior week. If necessary, make recommended changes to student aquariums.

Part 2: Assessment. Ask students for steps to answer essay questions (write down important information, rephrase the question, use supporting details, etc.). Model answering one essay question about pond life (from Delta), then have students brainstorm notes for answering second essay on chart paper. Then, students will then answer two questions individually, looking in their notes for supporting details to fully answer each question. (Assessment: Essay Questions)

Day 36

Do Now: Review your notes and research.

If necessary, provide additional time for essay questions. Students will get their aquariums and petri dishes to complete hands-on portion of assessment. When completed, they will put aquariums back and take remaining portions of assessment. (Assessment: hands-on and short answer assessments)

Day 37 (1/2 Day)

Students will spend this lesson planning for BioPond trip. They will choose groups based on their interests and make a schedule to collect all necessary data based on their group's choice of study. (Assessment: schedule and teacher observation)

Day 38

Do Now: QOTD: What information and data do you hope to collect at the BioPond? What will you do with that information and data once we come back to ECO?

Share QOTD results and review areas of research and data collection from last Wednesday. Ask students how their research area will help them meet their goals. If the research areas will not meet their goals, discuss what additional or revised research areas we need. Students currently plan to divide into pairs and observe and collect data from each habitat of the pond, as well as observe organisms which are the same and different from our pond aquarium. Students will meet in small groups to design a research task guide for the trip to help them meet their goals. At the end of class, students will share their task guides and the whole group will review whether we are meeting all of our research goals. (Assessment: teacher observation and research task guide)

Day 39 -- Field Trip to BioPond November 20, 2009

Students will travel to the University of Pennsylvania's Kaskey Memorial Gardens and BioPond. They are each responsible for collecting pictures, samples and observations from their habitat of the pond (air above, water surface, open water, muddy bottom, water's edge, surrounding gardens). Students will complete a self-designed research task guide at the pond, and then return to school to look at samples under the microscopes and begin PowerPoint Presentations (upload photos, design slides, etc.). (Daily Assessment: research task guide)

Materials:

Delta Pond Life Kit

Study Jams and BrainPop on projector

Additional materials as listed on lab sheets and in procedure section



 

Modifications, Adaptations, & Accommodations:

Differentiation strategies: dynamic grouping with small group support, differentiation for learning styles (kinesthetic, auditory, etc.), demonstrations prior to group labs.

When doing research on the computer, some students need modifications to complete an assignment. Three students need their research assignments in short increments, with immediate feedback given after each one. Several students require assistance finding reputable information (rather than just ask.com).

 


Reflection:

Students are very excited about starting their own aquarium! They really enjoy observing and investigating their organisms. I am finding it very difficult to stick to my lesson plans, when situations regularly occur for students to research and investigate. Our fish and damselflies die regularly, and students are researching how to save them and improve their conditions. We are currently planning and designing experiments using control tanks and different variables to observe how we can improve our organisms' living conditions. I am very impressed by the intellectual curiosity of my students and their thirst for scientific knowledge.

I find that I need to underplan these lessons, so I have enough time to involve student interests and questions each day. Students are so involved with the testing of their water, experimentation and research, that I cannot possibly stop them to include a lesson from Delta. My students continue to amaze me by their never-ending excitement to keep their pond aquariums healthy, so I will gladly push back assessment to allow this rich discussion, research and experimentation.

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