Urban Ecosystems

When people think of ecology, they usually imagine studies out in the country. The next thing they think of is studies involving the relationship of plants and animals to one another. They also imagine studies that show how organisms relate to the physical environment -- air, water, and soil. People and cities usually don't come to mind when ecology is mentioned.

Day 8: Worms, Water, and People on the Schoolyard


Different elements of the schoolyard ecosystem are linked Scientists compile data and search for patterns and relationships These relationships can be described

Lesson Overview

Students will combine their data into drawings and then write stories that explain the relationship of the data depicted in the drawings.

1 class period
  • Student Sheets
  • Pens, Pencils, Crayons or Color markers
  • Bar Graphs from “Data Display’a”
  • Student Assignment
  1. Explain the assignment to the students, using the student sheet as a guide. The studentswill need their bar graphs from the previous assignment. You may wish to do the first drawing as a class, and let them do the second two drawings on their own.
  2. Have the students complete the second part of the assignment, creating a “scientific story” based on their drawings. This is synonymous to scientists compiling data and drawing conclusions based on patters they see in that data. The goal here is to enable the students to recognize and describe patterns in their data when comparing the variables of worms, percolation, humans, and land use type.

Closure: Have the students compare their stories with each other. For closure, discuss the assignment as a class and see what the students had in common regarding links between humans, land use, worms, and percolation on the schoolyard. Allow the discussion to lead your class to a group conclusion regarding the experiments.


NYS Standards
MST 1 - Mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design
MST 4- Physical setting, living environment and nature of science
Benchmarks for Science Literacy
1B Scientific Inquiry
1C The scientific enterprise
2A Patterns and Relationships
4B The Earth
4C Processes that shape the earth
4G Forces of Nature
5A Diversity of Life
5D Interdependence of Life
9D Uncertainty
9E Reasoning

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