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Culturing Bacteria and Fungi Decomposers

Unit Plan: Decomposer DynamicsLesson: 3 Time: Sessions 1-6 (each 40 min) Setting: Classroom
3-5, 6-8Schoolyard Ecology
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Objectives

Students do a controlled experiment to culture microbes living on items they collected outside.

Overview
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Students will be able to: explain what a fair test is and why scientists use controlled experiments, develop the habit of using their journal for recording observations and questions, relate experimental evidence back to their predictions and give possible reasons for the outcomes, understand that microbes grow on their food source causing decomposition as they consume it

Materials

Session 1

For the class:
- newsprint sheets for class lists
- 1-2 3 oz. boxes of flavored Jello (lemon, lime or orange)
- bowl
- spoon
- boiling water
- paper towels
-measuring cup

For each pair of students:
- 3 petri dishes or other clear containers with flat bottoms and covers
-clear tape
- masking tape

Session 2

For each pair of students:
- 2 hand lenses

Sessions 3-5

For each pair of  students:
- 2 hand lenses
- copy of "Science Fair Story #1"
-copy of "Science Fair Story #2"

See Lesson Resources for further details.

Lesson Files

pdf
Culturing Bacteria and Fungi Decomposers

Benchmarks for Science Literacy

5D Interdependence of Life, 5E Flow of Matter and Energy, 12C Manipulation and Observation, 12D Communication Skills

NYS Standards

MST 4- Physical setting, living environment and nature of science
Next Generation Science Standards

Science and Engineering Practices

Asking questions and defining problems, Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data, Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Hogan, Kathleen. Eco-Inquiry: A Guide to Ecological Learning Experiences for the Upper Elementary/Middle Grades. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, PO Box 1840, 4050 Westmark Drive, Dubuque, IA 52004-1840., 1994.