Buddy Biology: Observing Living and Non-living Components of An Ecosystem with a Partner
In this activity students will observe a square foot of an ecosystem surrounding our elementary school. They will keep a journal to record the physical elements of their area. It will include both written details and drawings. They will visit their area monthly. They will note changes in the living and non-living components over time.
Skills the students will be using include observation, writing, questioning, drawing centered on detail, and research to identify the components.
Key concepts include identifying change over time and weather/seasonal changes.
Vocabulary words: physical property, ecosystem, names of plant and animal life forms.
Context for Use
Resource Type: Activities:Field Activity
Special Interest: Field-Based Teaching and Learning
Grade Level: Intermediate (3-5)
Theme: Teach the Earth:Enhancing your Teaching:Teaching in the Field
Description and Teaching Materials
Prior to going outside, each student will be given a journal to record their observations.
The students will be given a preset area to observe, between one and two square feet.
The first time going outside, the students will be given 10 minutes to observe their area. They will also be given 10 minutes to write about their findings. Subsequent observations will be given a total of 10 minutes. Tools will be provided to measure the items found in the space and to compare the item's size over time.
In May, students will write a narrative paper from the perspective of one of the items found in their ecosystem. They will detail the events that occurred throughout the school year, including seasonal changes.
Teaching Notes and Tips
Language Arts standards are also addressed in this activity.