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Outdoor Research Excursion

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Unit Plan: Who Eats What? Lesson: 3 Time: One outdoor session (1.5 - 2 hours) and one indoor session (40 min). Setting: Classroom and Outdoors Objectives:

Students visit thier study site to look for animals and clues about their food resources. The next day they process their findings.


Students will be able to:

- point out evidence of what animals live on the study site and what they eat
- know how to catergorize things in nature, and use the terms biotic and abiotic
- make some general statements about the biodiversity and food resources on their study plots, and on the site as a whole
- understand that their site is an ecosystem


Session 1

For the Class: Supplementary field equipment (optional)

  • trays (e.g. cookie sheets, foil pans, dishpans) lined with white paper
  • whistle
  • camera
  • several metal soupspoons
  • field guides
  • compass
  • sweep nets


For each group of 3-4 students:

  • pointed metal or wooden stake,  about 60 cm long
  • 2.5 meter cord tied to a metal ring that fits over the stake
  • cup of flour in a baggie
  • shopping bag
  • copy of the Who Eats What guide


For each student:

  • clear plastic cup
  • plastic spoon
  • cotton swab
  • index card
  • hand lens
  • map template

Session 2

For the class:

  • newsprint sheets for class lists
  • 2 pieces of oak tag for master map (optional)
Lesson Files:
Benchmarks for Science Literacy: 5A Diversity of Life 5E Flow of Matter and Energy 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
Next Generation Science Standards
Science and Engineering Practices: Planning and carrying out investigations

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.