Bird Feeding Stations: Bringing Nature to the Classroom – submitted by Dave Gervais

As most investigations do, this one began with a question. I had a log delivery to my house. The logs were primarily birch. What caused the damage to the birch trees that I was chopping up for wood? The holes were too shallow to suspect woodpeckers. I peeled off the bark, fully expecting to see insect galleries. There were none, but my internet search soon yielded pictures of similar damage caused by sapsuckers.

Some of my bird feeding stations have fat to attract woodpeckers. And so, I stood vigil to see if the fat might attract sapsuckers as well. Pictures from my reference book aided the identification.

Setting up a bird feeding station at school would be easy. The cost is minimal and there is no complicated storage. The seed could be stored in class in a steel trash bin. The lid should seal well to prevent attracting mice or other rodents.

Students could participate by taking turns filling the stations. Throwing in a few old logs and stumps would provide a natural setting. Identifying the birds and studying their ecological niche would be a great science activity.  Students could also take part in the bird feeder surveys that are advertised from time to time.

Thanks for the submission Dave!

Bilingual Ontario Multimedia Curriculum Resources for Science & Technology Teachers

Teachers, Our Incredible World (www.incredibleworld.ca)  offers multimedia curriculum resources for the Science & Technology strand suitable for grades 4 to 11. All video series, lesson plans, games, newsletters/factsheets, career profiles, and other resources are designed with teachers, for teachers. They cover topics such as: habitats, ecosystems, biodiversity, species-at-risk, invasive species, and other related life sciences subjects. All videos can be viewed on the site.

Filmed in Ontario, each video series features 2 young people -Incredible World Investigators on assignment to interview scientists and discover firsthand why some species are at risk and what is being done about it. From tracking wolves in the boreal forest in the dead of winter, to converting a suburban lawn into a shared habitat for a multitude of species, including bats, the young investigators have fun, while taking their assignments seriously.

Each series is accompanied by lessons that tie the video story-line to the Ontario’s Science and Technology curriculum. The lessons provide a stimulating mix of science-based class discussions and activities and allow educators to integrate group work, skills-building exercises, research, experiments, art, graphing, data recording, critical thinking, and debating into their classrooms. They culminate with students creating a variety of assessment products including informational posters, graphic organizers, and project assessment reports.

Click here to download the complete information package about this amazing resource.  

 

 

Design an Ecosystem Poster Project – submitted by Michael Balzer

For this project you will be designing your own imaginary ecosystem, including the living and nonliving components.  You may work by yourself or with a partner.  No more than two people may work together on the project.  You may either hand draw your poster or can design it digitally using software of your choice.  Posters will be placed on the walls around the science classroom once you have completed and submitted them.

Link to project:
Design an Ecosystem Project

Thanks for the submission Michael! It’s a great project.

Exploring Biodiversity Through Inquiry

By Patt Olivieri

In this resource, Patt provides an excellent plan for the Grade 6 strand on biodiversity with a major focus on inquiry.

Overview:

The intention of the following learning experience is to share, facilitate, and develop an understanding of biodiversity through inquiry, related to the overall Science expectations, as well as some of the expectations in Language and Social Studies.  The process begins with critical questions related to students’ own lives and the impact they have on their local environment.  Continue reading

Emma Marris: Nature is everywhere — we just need to learn to see it | TED Talk | TED.com

How do you define “nature?” If we define it as that which is untouched by humans, then we won’t have any left, says environmental writer Emma Marris. She urges us to consider a new definition of nature — one that includes not only pristine wilderness but also the untended patches of plants growing in urban spaces — and encourages us to bring our children out to touch and tinker with it, so that one day they might love and protect it.

What Happens to Animals in the Various Seasons

FoxBig Ideas:

  • Animals have distinct characteristics.
  • There are similarities and differences among different kinds of animals.

This activity is suggested for use with the Ontario Curriculum. Grade 2, Life Systems

Inquiry Skills Used

This is a research activity with students using their observation skills to act as primary reference sources which will lead to inquiry-based learning. Continue reading