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Feeding Habits Investigations

Unit Plan: Who Eats What?Lesson: 4 Time: Four Sessions: 40-80min, 60-90min, 40min, 40min Setting: Indoors and Outdoors
3-5, 6-8Schoolyard Ecology
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Students design and carry out indoor or outdoor investigations to learn more about animals' feeding interactions.


    Students will be able to:
    - be familiar with the procedures of scientific research
    - shape a question into a form that can be answered through research
    - make a general plan of action for a research project, and refine it during and after the investigation
    - realize that investigations don't always lead to clear conclusions, and that claims need to be backed by evidence


    Session 1

    For the class:

    • display or photocopy of "Kangaroo Rat and Pocket Mouse" (see complete description of lesson plan)

    For each group of 3-4 students:

    • copy of handout listing possible research topics


    Session 2

    For each group of 3-4 students:

    For indoor studies:

    • copy of "Classroom Critter Care Chart" (see complete description of lesson plan)
    • copy of the What Eats What  guide
    • habitat chamber (see "Classroom Critter Care Chart)
    • spoon or trowel
    • various animal foods (see "Suggested Investigation Descriptions" in the complete description of lesson plan)

    For outdoor studies:

    • various tools and animal foods (see " Suggested Investigation Descriptions")

    Session 3 and 4

    For each student:

    • hand lens


    Lesson Files

    Feeding Habits Investigations
    Who Eats What Guide

    Benchmarks for Science Literacy

    5A Diversity of Life, 5D Interdependence of Life, 5E Flow of Matter and Energy, 12A Values and Attitudes, 12D Communication Skills

    NYS Standards

    MST 4- Physical setting, living environment and nature of science, MST 7- Problem solving using mathematics, science, and technology (working effectively, process and analyze information, presenting results), ELA 1- Language to collect and interpret information and understand generalizations, ELA 3- Language for critical analysis and evaluation
    Next Generation Science Standards

    Science and Engineering Practices

    Planning and carrying out investigations, Analyzing and interpreting data

    Cross Cutting Concepts


    Disciplinary Core Ideas

    LS1C: Organization for Matter and Energy Flow in Organisms, LS2A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
    New York State Science Learning Standards

    Performance Expectations

    MS-LS2-2. Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms in a variety of ecosystems.

    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.