pond-life-unit-study-ideas

OneSmallSquarecoverandsamplepage

OneSmallSquarecoverandsamplepageI did a “Ponds” unit study with ages 8-12 and thought I would make some of the resources available. .

First, you will need to purchase the above book.  It’s only about $8 on Amazon.  You can get used copies for even less.  Each week we read a few of the pages (going in order) and then did some corresponding activities during our once-a-week class time.  We also did a short field trip to a local pond.

NOTE:

Although this is a picture book, the reviewers recommend it for up to 6th grade (USA). The text is full of information and even adults will learn a lot.  For older kids, you could supplement with “Eyewitness Pond and River.”

These activites sometimes correspond to an exact page and sometimes they don’t. Some of the critters appear on mulitple pages of the book.  Just use your own judgement as to what you want to use when.

VIDEOS:

I put up a PONDS playlist (www.youtube.com/TheBasementWorkshop) that you might find helpful.  There are some really nice “up-close” videos of dragonflies, water striders, and other pond creatures.  Also, nice videos of the grebe, an aquatic bird.

DRAWING LESSONS:

If you want to try some scientific illustration, click on the VIDEOS tab at the top of this page and scroll down till you see “Water strider,” “Mosquito Larva” and “Copepod.”  The copepod is the easiest one, then the water strider, then the larva. However, they are all presented step by step, so the students don’t need any special art talent to do them.  I demonstrate everything you need to do.

sampleswaterstridermosquito_000

GAMES: 

Aquatic Larvae Memory Match game  (two pattern pages to print onto card stock)

Pond Scum, a chess-like game about protozoans

“Circle of Life; Pond Edition”  (This is great for a final review game.)

CircleofLifePondEditionphotoofgamesetup_000

ONLINE GAME:

Online quiz game about relationships between pond animals (from Royal Institution, UK)

CLASSIFICATION SONG:

If you’d like to emphasize classification (like the last few pages of the book do) you might want to use “The Arthropod Song.”  Just click on the MUSIC tab, above, and you’ll find it on that page.

CRAFT PROJECTS:

Pop-up diorama project

Video instructions for pop-up diorama  (33 minutes– can fast forward to what you need)

Popupdiorama4_000

Dragonfly model

dragonflysamplespictureforad

Paramecium pillow  (if you want to emphasize pond microlife– esp. for older students)

ParameciumPIllowShowingBothFlatFurrySides

MAGNIFIER:

If you would like an inexpensive but very powerful magnifier so you can view tiny water creatures and insects, I recommend this 40x magnifier.

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