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

Day 4: Feeding Habits Investigations


Students design and carry out indoor or outdoor investigations to learn more about animals' feeding instructions

Lesson Overview

Students will be able to:
- be familiar with the procedures of scientific research
- shape a question into a form that can be answered through research
- make a general plan of action for a research project, and refine it during and after the investigation
- realize that investigations don't always lead to clear conclusions, and that claims need to be backed by evidence

Four Sessions: 40-80min, 60-90 min, 40min, 40min
Indoors and Outdoors

Session 1

For the class:

  • overhead transparency of "Kangaroo Rat and Pocket Mouse" (see complete description of lesson plan)

For each group of 3-4 students:

  • copy of handout listing possible research topics

Session 2

For each group of 3-4 students:

For indoor studies:

  • copy of "Classroom Critter Care Chart" (see complete description of lesson plan)
  • copy of the What Eats What  guide
  • habitat chamber (see "Classroom Critter Care Chart)
  • spoon or trowel
  • various animal foods (see "Suggested Investigation Descriptions" in the complete description of lesson plan)

For outdoor studies:

  • various tools and animal foods (see " Suggested Investigation Descriptions")

Session 3 and 4

For each student:

  • hand lens



See 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
ELA 3- Language for critical analysis and evaluation
Benchmarks for Science Literacy
5A Diversity of Life
5D Interdependence of Life
5E Flow of Matter and Energy
12A Values and Attitudes
12D Communication Skills

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

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