Schoolyard Ecology

Thinking about the flow of matter and energy with students is one of the key ways of exploring ecosystems. In these lessons, students construct their own understanding of ecosystems through investigations in their schoolyard, developing ideas about ecological processes and functions.

School Ecosystem Investigations

Studying ecosystems can be done everywhere, and you don't need a lot of materials to do so!  These lessons and investigations will support you in your efforts to get students outside, studying their own backyard using simple methods and materials.  

  • Wings on Seeds

    Students will know which characteristics of maple seeds help them travel farther and be able to explain why is this important.

  • Nature Preserves: Is Bigger Better?

    Students will understand the effect of "nature preserve" size on the diversity and abundance of organisms protected within the preserve.

  • Impacts of Schoolyard Traffic

    Students will know that the presence of humans has an impact on soil communities in their schoolyard.

  • Dandelion Determinations

    Students will be able to define a population of dandelions and understand why distribution and abundance of individuals is important.

  • Quadrats and Questions

    Students will be able to observe the environment around them and formulate questions based on their own observations.  

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

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