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An Analysis of a Schoolyard

Unit Plan: Mapping: What's on the Whole SchoolyardLesson: 8 Time: 2 class periods Setting: classroom
3-5Schoolyard Ecology
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Scientists draw conclusions based on data collected. Conclusions made by scientists are often used to support a recommendation to engage in a specific action. Living and nonliving elements of a schoolyard affect each other. Questions arise out of scientific experiments that lead to other experiments.


    Students will reflect on the project to date, compare their results to their hypotheses, and draw conclusions about their schoolyard.


    • Student handouts
    • Pencils
    • Data from previous lessons in this unit plan
    1. Have the class complete question 1 on the student sheet. 
    2. Display for the class the composite results of the Land Cover Types. Have the students compare these with their predictions, and to complete the Land Cover Type table. Ask them what it means to scientists if their hypothesis is right or wrong. Finally, display the composite class hypothesis and compare results.  
    3. Have students complete the remainder of the worksheet.  Feel free to discuss with the students their answers to question 7. Based on the information gathered, what are some of the things they might like to change about their school yard? Why? How might they go about making some of those changes.  You may wish to use this as a springboard from which the students might draft a letter to the school’s site council, or make a presentation at a PTA meeting discussing some of their results and related suggestions.

    Lesson Files

    Schoolyard Analysis Student Handout

    Benchmarks for Science Literacy

    1B Scientific Inquiry, 1C The scientific enterprise

    NYS Standards

    MST 1 - Mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design
    Next Generation Science Standards

    Science and Engineering Practices

    Asking questions and defining problems, Developing and using models, Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data, Engaging in argument from evidence

    Cross Cutting Concepts

    Patterns, Cause and effect