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Preparing for Fieldwork

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Unit Plan: Who Eats What? Lesson: 2 Time: Two 40-minute sessions Setting: Classroom and outdoors Objectives:

Students become familiar with what animals and animal signs to look for outdoors, then practice field research skills and methods.


- are familiar with some of the animals and animal signs they might see outdoors
- know how to gather evidence of what animals eat
- know how to set up a study plot and where to look for animals within the plot
- are able to use humane techniques for capturing and observing small animals
- have sharper observation skills, and understand the difference between an observation and an idea
- are ready to behave like scientists outdoors


Session 1

For the Class:

  • overhead transparencies of animals and animal signs
  • set of field equipment:
  • pointed metal or wooden stake, about 60cm long
  • 2.5 meter cord tied to a metal ring that fits over the stake
  • clear plastic spoon
  • plastic spoon
  • cotton swab
  • index card
  • small eraser or piece of chalk

Session 2

For each student:

  • hand lens
  • item to observe


Lesson Files:
Readings & Data:
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 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.