Skip to main content

Mapping: What's on the Whole Schoolyard

icon quick tip

Use the filter to limit your results.

3-5 Schoolyard Ecology

The series of lessons that comprise this unit are intended to take students from direct observations of their schoolyard to interpretation of air photographs of their schoolyard.  As steps along the way, students create a three dimensional model of the school site based on their initial field observations.  They then make an "air photo" of this model and analyze land cover types from this.  In this way, they learn first hand what an air photo is, and begin to develop the skills of land cover classification and quantification from something that they've created themselves.  Finally, they analyze a real air photo of their school site, identify land cover types, try to quantify these, and ground truth them through field reconnaissance.

  • Grades: 3-5

    Scientists make hypotheses at the beginning of any scientific study. A school site consists of both living and non-living things. School sites are designed for humans and human activities. School sites are habitat for creatures other than humans.

  • Grades: 3-5

    Students will draw what they see. Students will work to include locations of different features on a schoolyard as seen from a side view.

  • Grades: 3-5

    Models can be created to represent complex aspects of the real world. Scientists use models to study complex real world situations.

  • Grades: 3-5

    Aerial photographs can aid in determining land use types. Land cover types can be measured by using a grid overlay to aid in determining percent coverage. Students will learn how transition from gaining information from a 3-dimensional model to gaining information from an overhead 2-dimensional view.

  • Grades: 3-5

    Using aerial photographs Land Classification to determine what covers the schoolyard Land cover percentage (Building on skills from “Candyland Elementary School Land Use” lesson)

  • Grades: 3-5

    All scientific maps need to be verified by fieldwork (exploring the schoolyard). Field checking is the process of verifying a land use map by physically checking the schoolyard. The accuracy of the map can be improved through the knowledge gained by field checking.

  • Lesson 7: Classroom Map
    Grades: 3-5

    Through field checking a map or photo scientists can come up with a more accurate map of the area studied which reflects change over time. Collaborative efforts can lead to increased understanding of the concepts.

  • Grades: 3-5

    Living and nonliving elements of a schoolyard affect each other. Questions arise out of scientific experiments that lead to other experiments.