Eco-Inquiry, an ecology curriculum for grades 5-8 helps teachers transform their classrooms into centers of ecological research.

Day 3: Outdoor Research Excursion


Students visit thier study site to look for animals and clues about their food resources. The next day they process their findings

Lesson Overview


Students will be able to:
- point out evidence of what animals live on the study site and what they eat
- know how to catergorize things in nature, and use the terms biotic and abiotic
- make some general statements about the biodiversity an dfood resources on their study plots, and on the site as a whole
- understand that their site is an ecosystem

One outdoor session - 1.5 - 2 hours and One indoor session- 40 min.
Classroom and Outdoors

Session 1

For the Class: Supplementary field equipment (optional)

  • trays (e.g. cookie sheets, foil pans, dishpans) lined with white paper
  • whistle
  • camera
  • several metal soupspoons
  • field guides
  • compass
  • sweep nets

For each group of 3-4 students:

  • pointed metal or wooden stake,  about 60 cm long
  • 2.5 meter cord tied to a metal ring that fits over the stake
  • cup of flour in a baggie
  • shopping bag
  • copy of the Who Eats What guide

For each student:

  • clear plastic cup
  • plastic spoon
  • cotton swab
  • index card
  • hand lens
  • map template

Session 2

For the class:

  • newsprint sheets for class lists
  • 2 pieces of oak tag for master map (optional)

See the Lesson Resources below for further details.

Lesson Resources
NYS Standards
MST 4- Physical setting, living environment and nature of science
MST 7- Problem solving using mathematics, science, and technology (working effectively, process and analyze information, presenting results)
ELA 1- Language to collect and interpret information and understand generalizations
Benchmarks for Science Literacy
5A Diversity of Life
5E Flow of Matter and Energy
12D Communication Skills

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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