Stream Life – Activities

FOCUS: Water in a stream rushes, splashes, tumbles, or flows smoothly, creating different conditions and homes for a variety of organisms. In spite of the challenges of life in moving water, the streambed teams with insects. Many feed on plant and animal debris, helping to break down organic material that falls into the water, and they in turn provide a rich source of food for fish, birds, salamanders, and other stream inhabitants.

INTRODUCTION
Objective: To begin to explore and ask questions about stream life.

Outside near a stream, take a minute to stop, listen, and look. Ask children what they notice and wonder about the stream.

STREAM MEASUREMENTS
Objective: To look for evidence that stream speed and temperature vary along its course.

Water Speed Continue reading Stream Life – Activities

Stream Life – Puppet Show

The Net Result

Characters: Ellie, Dad, Maisie Mayfly nymph, Steven Stonefly nymph, Justin Case caddisfly larva.

Props: large magnifying lens; coat hanger, scrub brush, bottlebrush or round hair brush.

Ellie  Hey, Dad. Is it okay if I stay here while you fish? I want to look for a special rock to take home. I’ve got my magnifying lens with me. (hold up lens) See?

Dad  Okay, but I’m going to move upstream where your splashing won’t scare all the fish away! (exits)

Ellie  Thanks, Dad. Oh, here’s a nice rock. Continue reading Stream Life – Puppet Show

Stream Life – Standards

STREAM LIFE ALIGNMENT WITH
NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS

The activities in this unit help children understand the basic concepts in the Disciplinary Core Ideas listed here. You can use the following list as a guide for lesson planning. These Disciplinary Core Ideas are taken from Grade Band Endpoints in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Additionally, our activities give children opportunities to engage in many of the Science and Engineering Practices and reflect on the Crosscutting Concepts as identified in the Next Generation Science Standards. Continue reading Stream Life – Standards

Forest Birds – Background

In early spring, forests of the Northeast come alive with birdsong. Before the leaves come out on the trees, the songs of the earliest arrivals echo through the bare woods. The sweet, high notes of the white-throated sparrow, the Morse code tapping of the yellow-bellied sapsucker, the ethereal fluting of the hermit thrush, are among the first to be heard. Every week thereafter, the chorus increases in volume and variety as other birds return to the Atlantic Northern Forest to breed. What makes this region so important for songbirds? Continue reading Forest Birds – Background

Forest Birds – Activities

FOCUS: The Atlantic Northern Forest, with its many layers of vegetation and abundance of insect prey, provides food and nesting grounds for a wide variety of birds. Whether migratory or resident, birds play an important role in the forest for they help to keep insect populations under control. In the spring, forest birds call for mates and set up territories, filling the woods with a chorus of lively birdsong. A pleasure to see and hear, these jewels of the forest are a valuable part of the forest ecosystem.

INTRODUCTION
Objective: To begin to explore and ask questions about forest birds.

Ask children to close their eyes and imagine that they are birds. As they picture themselves flying through the woods, ask them to imagine what kinds of foods they might stop to eat.

FOREST FOOD SCRAMBLE
Objective: To model how birds avoid competition by foraging in different layers of the forest.

Ask the children to think about this question: Will a bird get more food if it does most of its feeding in one layer, or if it feeds anywhere in the forest? Explain that they will get to model the two ideas. Continue reading Forest Birds – Activities

Forest Birds – Puppet Show

Characters: Benjy Bear, Squirrel, Caterpillar, Cuckoo, Scarlet Tanager, Sapsucker.

Benjy Bear  Hooey. I’m so full, I can bearly climb this tree.

Squirrel  Yeah, and I’d say you’re one silly bear, but I wouldn’t want to go out on a limb.  So, whatcha doin’ up here, Benjy?

Bear  Oh, I like to see what’s going on in the forest. Up here, I can see into the treetops where the beechnuts grow.

Squirrel  That’s the canopy – can’t top that! Continue reading Forest Birds – Puppet Show

Forest Birds – Standards

FOREST BIRDS ALIGNMENT WITH
NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS

The activities in this unit help children understand the basic concepts in the Disciplinary Core Ideas listed here. You can use the following list as a guide for lesson planning. These Disciplinary Core Ideas are taken from Grade Band Endpoints in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Additionally, our activities give children opportunities to engage in many of the Science and Engineering Practices and reflect on the Crosscutting Concepts as identified in the Next Generation Science Standards. Continue reading Forest Birds – Standards

Pond Life – Background

A visit to a pond is always good entertainment, with a cast of characters that reads like a fairy tale. Damselflies flit about on gossamer wings, giant water bugs lurk under the surface, dragonflies patrol the shoreline, and frogs perch on lily pads. Peering into the pond, one sees a drama unfold where the players face challenges of finding food, getting air, moving about, and evading predators. The many organisms in a pond ecosystem are dependent upon each other and the aquatic environment to meet their needs for survival. Continue reading Pond Life – Background

Pond Life – Activities

FOCUS:  The varied environment of a pond provides homes for a rich array of plants and animals. All these pond dwellers face the challenges of life in the water – obtaining nutrients, avoiding predators, moving from here to there, getting air. The many organisms in a pond ecosystem are dependent upon each other and on the aquatic environment to meet their needs for survival.

INTRODUCTION
Objective: To begin to explore and ask questions about pond life.

Outside near a pond, take a minute to stop, listen, and look. Ask children what they notice and wonder about the pond.

A VISIT TO A POND
Objective: To explore a pond, looking for evidence of its inhabitants and noticing the different habitats in which they live.

Pond Profile Poster
Ahead of time, make a large diagram on poster board showing a pond in profile. Continue reading Pond Life – Activities

Pond Life – Puppet Show

Once Upon a Pond

Characters: Tadpole, Frog, Whirligig Beetle, Lily Pad, Damselfly Nymph, Dragonfly Nymph.

Props: water lilies, crown, loop on back of stage to hold up lily prop.

 

Tadpole  Tell me a story, Daddy!

Father Frog  Once upon a time there was a fierce dragon who lived at the bottom of a pond.

Tadpole  Ooooh, a scary fairy tale. Continue reading Pond Life – Puppet Show

Pond Life – Standards

POND LIFE ALIGNMENT WITH
NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS

The activities in this unit help children understand the basic concepts in the Disciplinary Core Ideas listed here. You can use the following list as a guide for lesson planning. These Disciplinary Core Ideas are taken from Grade Band Endpoints in A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Additionally, our activities give children opportunities to engage in many of the Science and Engineering Practices and reflect on the Crosscutting Concepts as identified in the Next Generation Science Standards. Continue reading Pond Life – Standards