Summaries of the 2002 lesson plans
Click on the lesson title for the full text in Adobe PDF format.
Bacteria Gathering - Summary - Students are taught about agar and grow their own selection of bacteria collected from selected areas on school grounds. General Goal - For students to discover that bacteria (and fungus) are everywhere and that they are usually too small to see unless they are grown in abundance.
Beyond Island Hopping - Summary - Students will use a baby pool with sand islands in to look at concept relating to species survival and the concept of island biogeography. Insects such as crickets, moths, mealworms. General Goal - This lesson will have the students begin to explore and hopefully understand the idea of Island Biogeography.
Biodiversity - Summary - Students will select outdoor sites and measure the number of plant species, animal species and relate the results to human disturbance. General Goal -To give students experience in collecting and interpreting field data; to provide hands-on work showing the concept of species diversity and to correlate the affect of human disturbance on each site.
Cricket Adaptations - Summary
- Students will observe crickets to determine what mating behaviors
are noticeable. General Goal - Students will observe that animals have
adaptations that help them reproduce. They will also conduct a scientific
investigation to study an adaptation they observe.
Flower Power! - Summary - Students will compare various germination stages of bean seeds and analyze the different growth stages of flowers found together on a bush bean plant. General Goal: Flowers Are for Reproduction. Students will recognize that the purpose of a flower is to reproduce a plant.
Horse poop; Look what's on it! - Summary - Students will compare the patterns of succession that occur on 2 different piles of Horse Manure. One that is totally fresh, and one that was scooped up 3-4 hours after falling! General Goal - The overall goal is for students to understand succession, by their observations and analysis without being told what succession is.
Investigating the Biodiversity of the Baldwin Woods Nature Reserve Habitat and Fuller Preserve - Summary - Ecology students will make detailed observations of the tree species that inhabit Baldwin Woods, a remnant of the Black Swamp landscape of the 1800s. They will also make observations of the trees of Fuller Preserve, a mature woody forest patch occupying land cleared in the 1800s. Students will have the opportunity to experience and ask questions about the tree biodiversity of these two habitats. After observing types, numbers, and relative distributions of tree species, students will ask one or more specific questions based on their observations, and then formulate testable hypotheses from which they can draw reliable conclusions. General Goal - This exercise is intended to have students demonstrate understanding of the ecology of one of the last remaining parcels of near virgin Black Swamp forest in Northwestern Ohio and how it may have changed due to human interaction.
Is a parking lot an ecosystem? - Summary - While observing the characteristics of a parking lot, students will gather data to support or refute the hypothesis that a parking lot is not an ecosystem. General Goal - Students will identify even the most unlikely habitats and recognize them as ecosystems. Students will identify organisms' abilities to adapt to extreme changes in an environment. Students will determine the characteristics of an ecosystem and the resources utilized in the ecosystem by organisms. Students will develop skills of observation, prediction and hypothesizing, collection and analysis of data. Students will synthesize hypotheses and ideas of how biodiversity relates to adaptability of organisms in any ecosystem. Students will recognize where parking lots take place in nature (i.e. lava flows). Students will process the idea of disturbance and how the process of succession comes into play. Parking lots? Disturbance? Succession?
Measuring Species Diversity - Summary - In this activity students will inventory species diversity in two different areas on the property of Midpark High School. General Goal - To introduce students to the concept of biological diversity; showing that differing habitats have different characteristics, and the ways the differences can be studied and measured. (YOU ALSO NEED TO DOWNLOAD ACTIVITY WORKSHEETS AND DATA TABLE).
Now You See Me.... - Summary - Students will investigate the cryptic coloration and shape (crypsis) of insects in their habitats. General Goal - The purpose of this activity is for students to investigate, through inquiry, insect shape and coloration to introduce them to biodiversity.
Our National Flower? - Summary - Students will observe goldenrod plants with and without galls, measure differences between the plants, suggest reasons for these differences and suggest hypotheses for the cited differences. General Goal - Student s will examine the folly of calling a plant a weed species. The students will realize that goldenrod is an important producer in North American habitats and is intricately bound into an amazing food web. Ideally, the students will challenge the landscaping designs of their homes and examine strategies for increasing biodiversity of their yards.
Protozoan Diversity - Summary - Students will examine samples of water from a variety of habitats looking for protozoans. General goal - The students will observe, record data and analyze how habitat location affects the diversity of protozoans.
Raise your hand
or fin. - Summary - Students will
Seed Germination - Summary - Students will design an experiment to test the effect of variables determined by the students on the germination of seeds. General Goal - I want students to examine the basic conditions necessary for the germination of a Blue Lake bean seed. There will also be process goals that will achieved along the way since the students will be required to submit a full lab report by the end of the experiment describing what they found through their experimentation.
Studying the significance of biodiversity in Baldwin Woods near Bowling Green, Ohio - Summary - The students will tour Baldwin Woods and learn about the flora and fauna. General Goal - The students will learn about the biodiversity of Baldwin Woods (virgin black). This activity will allow them to see how much the Great Black Swamp has changed due to human intervention and time.
The Birds and the Bees, and the Flowers and the Trees - Summary - Students will examine the roles in which animals play in the pollination of plants by watching, researching, and then narrating the movie "Sexual Encounters of the Floral Kind." General Goal - The general goal of this lesson is to recognize the numerous relationships between plants and animals in the pollination process.
The Nature of Science: What are the characteristics of life?- Summary - In this guided-inquiry lesson students will use the scientific method to construct a definition of life, which includes the characteristics of living things. General Goal - The purpose of this lesson is for students to begin to develop an understanding of the nature of science by observing many different living organisms and non-living things to determine characteristics common to all living and once-living organisms. The students will experience that nature is conserved and that all living things can be described using the same general characteristics of life.
Thoreau Walk: Getting to Know a Piece of Cincinnati Landscape - Summary - In the spirit of Henry David Thoreau and E.O. Wilson students are asked to plot a walk consisting of at least 50 meters around their house. Initially they are asked to plot their path on graph paper, to scale, showing their path. indicating N,S, E and West. Students walk this path once a week during the entire school year recording in their laboratory notebook the kinds of plants, animals and other forms of life they encounter. Observations that involve the use of their five senses are recorded at first. Quantitative measurements regarding the number and kinds of species follow. The students are asked to write questions regarding their observations. Students eventually will test one hypothesis that they construct themselves from their observations. Sharing of their walks will take place once a week, in assigned groups and as a classroom discussion. The culminating activities consist of designing a path that will increase local biodiversity and answer the thesis question, was Henry David Thoreau a scientist? General Goal - The goal of the project is to immerse the urban student into the natural landscape and reinforce the concept of biodiversity. Both scientific and social inquiry are reflected in the execution of the project since students will recognize human alteration of the landscape and our impact on biodiversity, followed by their construction of a landscape design that increases local biodiversity. Students appreciation for nature should also increase.
What are the parts of a Tree? (Page1) - (Page 2) - Summary - In this lesson students will construct a list of traits of trees and describe how traits could be used to divide the parts into several kinds of structures. General Goal - Students will work in small groups to list and describe the basic structures of a tree (stems and leaves.)
What is a lichen? - Summary - Students will investigate the biodiversity of lichens soaked in spring water. General Goal - The purpose of this activity is for students to investigate lichens through inquiry to first introduce them to biodiversity.
What is leaf litter? - Summary - Students will examine leaf litter to determine its composition. General Goal - Students will use a variety of methods to examine leaf litter to determine "What is leaf litter?" - Essentially what are the parts that make it up? (ALSO NEED LEAF LITTER DATA INFORMATION SHEET)