On the Cutting Edge - Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
Teaching Geoscience in the Field in the 21st Century
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Cutting Edge > Geoscience in the Field > Designing Field Experiences > Activities

Teaching Activities


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Investigating Insects in Nature part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a field investigation where students collect insects to analyze, observe, and classify

Investigating Ponds and Streams: How clean is our water? part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a field investigation where students gather data on ponds and compare the results to determine the quality of the water.

Investigation a food web: producers, consumers, and decomposers part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a field investigation where students list plants and animals they observe. Students will organize their data as producers, consumers, or decomposers and create a food web showing how they affect each other. They will predict what will happen if the food web becomes imbalanced by extinction or over population.

Dissecting Soil part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a field investigation where students find out what makes up soil.

Dissecting Soil part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a field investigation where students find out what makes up soil.

Classify the trees/Leaves part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a field investigation where students gather leaves from various trees on school property, interpret findings, name tree and leaves, journal activity and develop a new "aha" for nature!

Food Chains: Nature's Restaurant part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
In these life science activities, students will participate in field observations of living things & do research of animals they observe to create a food chain & present it to the class. Students will participate in a food web simulation game.

Make a Model Fossil part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a combination outdoor/indoor lab where students will collect natural materials from the environment and use them to create both a mold and cast model of a fossil. Students will learn how a fossil is formed and why scientists use models to help them understand how things work and develop.

Investigating Animals: Interdependence of Life In A Habitat part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a field investigation where students will observe, discuss, and gather evidence on how environmental changes affect animals that live in that habitat.

Investigating Plant Life in Our Nature Center part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a field investigation where students use a dichotomous key to properly identify trees in our schools nature center.

Natural Stream Tables part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a field investigation on stream tables.

Determining Bird Populations Through Counting part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a field investigation where students gather population data on bird species. The students will create bar graphs and interpret their findings. Based on their experiences and data, they will write an answer to the guiding question.

Classroom Phenology: Using the Environment as a Source of Data and Observations part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a classroom and schoolyard investigation where students collect daily temperature and precipitation readings, weather observations, and weekly phenology reports in a phenology binder and in nature journals. Students then analyze this data and compare to recorded values in the Weatherguide calendar.

Tree Leaf Identification and Leaf Display Activity part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a tree leaf collection, identification, and display of dried and pressed leaves. It teaches students about distinguishing leaf characteristics as well as a way to display and label their collection.

Investigating Trees: Using a dichotomous key to identify local tree types part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a field investigation where students explore different types of trees and identify them using leaves and classification tools.

Rock Residents: What Lives Under a Rock? part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
The students will participate in listening and discussing the story, Under One Rock: Bugs, Slugs, and Other Ughs, by Anthony D. Fredericks and illustrated by Jennifer DiRubbio. On the following day, we will explore our nearby forest searching for some of the animals mentioned in the story. For the third day of this lesson, the students will share what they have written and drawn in their nature journals from the previous day's walk.

No Two Snowflakes Are Alike? part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This is a three part lesson looking at snowflakes. Students will study an early scientist who discovered that all snowflakes are different. Students will also research basic characteristics of snowflakes. And finally, they will draw a snowflake of their own trying to incorporate what we learned, and write about what we did and the steps we took to learn about snowflakes.

Water Bottle Rockets - etc! part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
In this science lab, students investigate Newton's Laws of Motion. Students will make and fly water bottle rockets, as well as measure the height of each rocket's flight.

Comparing Soil Samples from different locations part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
In this field investigation, students compare various soil samples taken from specific locations. Students compare samples, record data, create a chart or graph, and journal.

Introducing Nature Journal part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a step by step lesson to introduce a nature journal to students. We will establish the routine we will use.

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