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Life Science

Forest Studies

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Robert Anderson Robert Anderson 2300 Points

If you were to take students out into the deciduous forest to study photosynthesis, energy transfer, food webs and natural cycles (nitrogen, carbon, oxygen,water) what activities, observations and experiments would you set up?

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92316 Points

Hi Robert,
You may be interested in a few book chapters and other resources that are available in the Learning Center on this topic. Here are 3 book chapters and one journal article:
Field Trip Preparation: Increasing student knowledge about matter and energy before a field trip
Principles of Forestry
Forest History, Ecology, and Values
After the Field Study
Setting up transpiration investigations, life science transect studies, etc. would be very engaging for students. You mentioned so many things,Robert, and that would make sense in that a forest can be the backdrop for a myriad of studies. I hope the resources are helpful. An advanced search will yield additionalressources on your topic.

Robert Anderson Robert Anderson 2300 Points

Thank you so much for your reply. I will surely check out the materials that you mentioned. What are life science transect studies?

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92316 Points

Hi Robert,
Transect studies are very engaging for the kids. Here is an article that explains what it is AND provides a sample lesson plan for it. Enjoy!
Nature Transects
Let me know if you want some more examples. I have done this with 3rd graders at Illinois Beach Park in Zion, IL.

Robert Anderson Robert Anderson 2300 Points

This looks to be exactly the kind of thing I've been hoping for. And I'd be very pleased to hear about your 3rd grade experiences. I teach 5th grade.

George Mehler George Mehler 1575 Points

Robert, Below I have attached links to videos that could help you with ideas for outdoor lessons. These videos come from a YouTube channel I have been developing called FunScienceDemos. It is home to hundreds of videos that cover a wide array of topics. The videos are common core aligned and easy to replicate or integrate into the classroom. Please check out FunScienceDemos and subscribe! Best, Dr. George Mehler Ed.D., Temple University Water Shapes the Land Nature Recycles a Tree What do Plants Need to Grow? Flowers Seeds and the Life Cycle Why does a Leaf Change Color?

Dulce Reyes Dulce Reyes 2565 Points

Maybe set up an actual mini forest. Have different types of animals and plants. Students can explore these animals and think about what they might eat, if something might eat it. Also have a question if they think the air would be different there why or why not. 

Haley Lloyd Haley Lloyd 70 Points

Hello! This summer I took an Arctic Ecology Course in Alaska. A routine component of our fieldwork included Ecosystem Assessments. Ecosystems provided a base way to gather data and then compare it to different ecosystems. Through this, we compared different biotic factors of different biomes (temperate rainforests, boreal forests, tundra). These assessments included noting measurements (temperature, canopy cover, soil temperature, etc.), and using different tools to note observations about the species of the area. These tools included quadrats and transects. Many of these tools/activities could be adapted to fit different age ranges. 

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