? Children could write books about their study plots. Books could be creative or expository.

? Pretend the insect the students find in their study plots can tell you about its life. Write a story about one day in the life of your insect in 3rd person or 1st person point of view.

? Read Aesop’s fable “Country Mouse, City House”. Write stories about an animal stranded in another habitat.

? Write a description narrative about how the world would look in their study plots if they were 15 cm. tall. What would it be like to study the plants and animals from this perspective?

? Research different ecosystems. Examples may include a lake, desert, field, alpine forest, and hardwood forest. Focus on landforms, water sources, plant and water sources, plant and animal life shelter, organism living there, and non-living items. Report the information in writing or construct a model of the ecosystem.


Book Suggestions:

Alejandro’s Gift by Richard Albert

Candle & The Magic Boat by Robert E. Wood

Children of the Earth…Remember by Schim Schimmel

Find Out About, Environment by Godfrey Hall

Hungry Animals: My First Look at a Food Chain by Pamela Hickman

Who Eats What? Food Chains & Food Webs by Patricia Lauber

What Are Food Chains & Food Webs by Bobbie Kalman

Where Once There Was Wood by Denise Fleming



? Make a nature collage, using plant materials, and/or non-living materials from your habitat.

? Recreate a community that you have observed using a shoebox. Put finished products in a display.



? Construct a map of your study plot; Use a map key – to identify important features.

? Assign students a continent and allow students to choose a native animal of that continent and create a food web of that animal.



? Measure other objects in the classroom or outdoors using different measurement scales.



? Observation of the study plots, and/or terrariums can be continued as often as a teacher desires. Observations could be made during various seasons and/or during various weather conditions.

? Students could be encouraged to plot a special area to study at home. Results could be shared in class. Different types of environments could be studied (i.e. forests, marshes, meadows, ponds.)

? Pictures could be taken to prepare a visual display of the insect pictures or study plots. Prepare a powerpoint slide show of the information found in the study plot and show it to parents or students at other grade levels.

? If you are able to take a longer nature hike and want to observe several habitats, try this: Bend a wire coat hanger into a circle. Toss it on the ground and observe the area inside the circle.

? Find an anthill. Observe it! How does an ant travel in grass? Are all the ants the same size, kind, and color? Research!

? Take a spider web walk! What shapes are the webs? What kinds of insects are trapped? How many? Why are spiders useful? Draw pictures!

? Display materials that show man’s dependence on living things. (wood, cloth, paper).

? Have the children list the foods they’ve eaten in one day and identify the sources.

? Investigate temperature preferences of living things. Tie a long string to a thermometer. Take a reading in a hollow tree or down a woodchuck hole. Take a reading in a rock crevice or deep in a wood pile! Keep going!

? Make a habitat for worms! Research a worm’s needs in its habitat and start digging.

? If possible, bring in small samples of soil from varied locations. (i.e., the forest, the marshes, and a meadow). What living things live below the surface?

? Take a nature walk in a specific habitat. List 5 sounds you hear. Try to identify the sources of these sounds.

? Bring a chunk of rotting log to class. Observe and record what you find.

? Test water and light requirement of grass. Plant seeds and alter growing conditions. What are optimum conditions for growth?

? Take a class trip to a community tree. Have students record what they see and hear there. Sounds can be tape recorded for future identification of sounds. Use binoculars for a closer look at animals around the tree. Take the temperature of the ground and air. Go back to the tree in different conditions (seasons, temperatures). Identify organisms around the tree and describe them as producers, composers, and decomposers? Construct food chains for the community in and around the tree.

? Visit or observe other artificial ecosystems such as zoos, ant farms, and pets in cages. Compare and contrast the artificial vs. natural environment.

? Create an ongoing food web on a classroom bulletin board.

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