5: Study Plots
For each pair of
2 Student Activity Sheets for Learning Experience 5
Obis Lawn Guide
3 meters lengths of twine
Map of schoolyard*
For the class:
*provided by teacher
Read the background information in the Teacher’s Manual. (Please see PDF
) Permission must be attained by school
administration for the use of school property. Be sure to inform administration
that in later learning experiences, students will remove part of their study
plot, but the area will be reseeded. If space is limited, students could work
in groups of three or four.
Students will choose a study plot and create an accurate
description of the study plot.
Students will choose a study plot in the schoolyard and provide an accurate pictorial and written description of that plot.
How can we study the
particular population of living things in a given area?
After students look at the overall schoolyard community,
students are ready to investigate a particular area of the schoolyard in-depth.
Hold up a sample of twine loop made with three meter length
of twine. Explain to students that they are going to choose an area of the
schoolyard to place their string and that their “study plot” will be the area inside the loop. They can adjust the
shape of their string to include as many interesting things as possible. Model
for students on the floor of the classroom. Once students choose where they are going to place their loop, they will
mark their location on their schoolyard maps.
Student pairs are to measure out three meter lengths of
twine provided and tie the ends together to form a loop. Student pairs are to
choose their area, mark it on their maps, find their area in the schoolyard, and place their loop on the ground. Student
plots should be labeled. Allow for some space between plots.
Where would be a good location for a study plot? Why?
Why do you think studying one area of land is helpful to
understanding the schoolyard community? What things should we look for?
On the Student Activity Sheet for Learning Experience 5,
students are to draw the features located in their site. They are to write
every detail they can about the environmental factors in their site and any
plants or animals they observe. Students can use the Obis Lawn Guide to help
with their identification. Students should focus on their study plots for 20
minutes. Students can sit on newspapers or bags, if the grass is damp. After
students complete their observation, they can share what they have found.
Did any sites have a lot of cover? Sunlight? Humans nearby?
What animals and plants were found there?
What animals and plants were found in the open sites?
Were there any animals found in both type of sites?
Predict the kind of changes that will occur in your site in
future weeks. What questions would you like answered about what you observed in
your site today? How can you find the answers you need?
STUDENT ACTIVITY SHEET for Learning Experience 5
A community is a place where plants and animals live together. The plants and animals are able to get food, water, warmth, and protection from the
community. A community may be as small as a crack in the sidewalk, or it may be as
big as a desert hundreds of miles wide.
might find a community under a decaying log!
1. You are studying a living community in your study plot. Draw a
detailed picture of the plot or community and label the living and non-living things you find.
2. Describe in detail all the environmental factors in your site.
3. List the names of any plants and animals you see in your site.