Snags and Rotting Logs – Background

Perched on the bare limb of a standing snag, an owl calls to its mate. Nearby, a mouse scampers along a fallen log and a spider spins its web on a rotting stump. From standing snags to lying logs, dead wood is essential in a forest, though its importance is often overlooked. At each stage of decay, snags and logs are hubs of activity, providing food, shelter, perches, travel corridors and many other functions in the forest ecosystem.

Some trees die suddenly, caught in fires, hurricanes, or struck by lightning, but most trees die in stages, succumbing gradually to disease, drought, old age or a combination of factors. As a tree decays, it provides a home for a parade of plants, animals, fungi and bacteria that further the process of decomposition. Continue reading Snags and Rotting Logs – Background

Snags and Rotting Logs – Activities

 

FOCUS: From standing snags to lying logs, dead wood is essential in a forest, though its importance is often overlooked. As wood decays, a succession of plants, animals, fungi and bacteria come and go, each furthering its decomposition. At every stage, snags and rotting logs are hubs of activity, providing food, shelter, perches, travel corridors and many other functions in the forest ecosystem.

Introduction: Hold up a piece of dead wood. Ask the children if they’ve ever noticed anything living in a dead tree or log.

PUPPET SHOW “Spring Cleaning” Continue reading Snags and Rotting Logs – Activities

Snags and Rotting Logs – Puppet Show

Spring Cleaning 

Characters: Benjy Bear, Sappy Sapsucker, Sally Squirrel, Carpenter Ant Queen, Sandy Salamander.

Props: red maple; dead snag; rotting log; sign saying “Next Spring”; spray bottle, cotton balls, loop on back of stage to hold up props.

Red maple prop on stage.

Benjy Bear  Ah, spring! As manager of this forest, it’s time for me to do a little spring cleaning. This old red maple looks like it’s dead or dying. Gotta move out the old to make room for the new… Continue reading Snags and Rotting Logs – Puppet Show

Snags and Rotting Logs – Standards

SNAGS AND ROTTING LOGS 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 Snags and Rotting Logs – Standards