WEATHER LESSONS

1 Weather  2 Weather  3 Weather  4Weather 
5 Weather Experiment  6 Weather 7 Weather 8 Plant Anatomy & Life Processes
9 Plant Anatomy & Life Processes 10 Plant Anatomy & Life Processes 11 Plant Anatomy & Life Processes  12 Plant Anatomy & Life Processes
13 Plants and Animals in an Ecosystem 14 Plants and Animals in an Ecosystem 15 Plants and Animals in an Ecosystem 16 Plants and Animals in an Ecosystem
17 Plants and Animals in an Ecosystem 18 Plants and Animals in an Ecosystem 19 Plants and Animals in an Ecosystem 20 Plants and Animals in an Ecosystem
21 Plants and Animals in an Ecosystem 22 Simple Machines 23 Virginia’s Natural Resources 24 Virginia’s Natural Resources
25 Virginia’s Natural Resources 26 Virginia’s Natural Resources 27 Virginia’s Natural Resources 28 Virginia’s Natural Resources
29 Virginia’s Natural Resources 30 Virginia’s Natural Resources Return to CES Homepage

Lesson 1: Weather "Thunderstorm"
Project WET p. 196


 
 

Bay Kid's Weather Page
Brain Pop:  Seasons

Objective:

  • Students will work cooperatively to mimic the sounds of a thunderstorm, become aware of the sounds of a thunderstorm, and monitor precipitation.

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    Materials:

  • Tin can, ruler, pencil, portfolio, drawing paper

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    Procedures:

    1. Simulate sounds of a thunderstorm.
    2. Read Weather Words, by Gail Gibbons.
    3. Create sounds of a thunderstorm.
    4. Build a rain gauge (tin can, ruler).
    Evaluation:
  • Draw or write stories about thunderstorms, measure, and record precipitation using constructed rain gauges.

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    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.6 Study weather condition & phenomena
  • Math:
  • 4.11 Estimate and measure length
  • English:
  • Reading/Literature
    4.3 Read and learn the meaning of unfamiliar words
    4.7 Write effective narratives and explanations
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 2: Weather "The Weather Master Myth" 
    NatureScope: Wild About Weather p. 7



    Objective:

  • Students will describe how the Earth, sun, water, and air affect weather and investigate the characteristics of a tall tale and myth.

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    Materials:

  • Copies of American Tall Tales and NatureScope p. 7, pencil, paper

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    Procedures:

    1. Describe how the Earth, sun, water, and air affect weather.
    2. Read American Tall Tales by Mary Pope Osborne.

    3. Temperature Forecasts Maps
      a. Read "Sall Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind" p. 15.
      b. Discuss the characteristics of a tall tale.
    4. Read aloud the myth "The Weather Master" NatureScope: Wild About Weather p. 7.
    Evaluation:
  • Write a weather myth or tall tale after listening to several of them.

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    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.6 Study weather condition & phenomena
    4.7 Study relationship among Earth, moon & sun
  • English: Reading/Literature
  • 4.5 Demonstrate comprehension of a variety of literary forms
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 3: Weather "Stormy Weather"
    Project WILD p. 26

    Objective:
  • Students will investigate and understand weather phenomena. Then understand that humans and wildlife share a common environment, and experience some of the same natural phenomena.

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    Materials:

  • Drawing paper

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    Procedures:

    1. Read the poem "Rainstorms" and chant and clap to the rhythm of the poem.
    2. Share weather experiences.
    3. Read Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett (fiction).
    4. Read Storms by Seymour Simon (nonfiction).
    5. Compare Storms by Seymour Simon (nonfiction) with Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett (fiction). - Write your own version "Cloudy with a Chance of __________________".
    6. Simulate a field trip.
    7. a. Read aloud Project WILD p. 26, 27
      b. Discuss the concept that many animal (including people, pest, wildlife) share a common environment.
      c. Describe the experience.
      d. Draw mental pictures.
      e. Pantomime animal actions during the story.
    Evaluation:
  • Write a natural-phenomena story (drought, snowstorm, food, tornado, fire, earthquake) from either a child or wild animal’s point of view.

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    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.6 Study weather condition & phenomena
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Contribute to group discussion
    Reading/Literature:
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    Writing:
    4.6 Read a variety of poetry
    4.7 Write effective narratives and explanations
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 4: Weather "Poetic Precipitation"
    Project WET p. 182


    Rain Gauge Experiment
    Absorption vs. Reflection Experiment
    Changing Seasons Experiment
    Sensing the Humidity
    Make a Rainbow
    Objective:

  • Students will investigate and understand characteristics of rain, recognize how rain clouds are formed, and recognize that thoughts and feelings are influenced by weather conditions.

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    Materials:

  • Journal, balloons (½ of class), garbage bags, samples of rain poems and songs

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    Procedures:

    1. Explore characteristics of rain.
    2. Read The Random House Book of Poetry for Children by Jack Prelutsky ("Rain Clouds" p. 30, "Rain Has Silver Sandals" p. 29, "To Walk in Warm Rain" p. 30).
    Evaluation:
  • Evaluate students abilities to accurate simulate rain clouds.

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    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.6 Study weather condition & phenomena
  • English: Reading/Literature
  • 4.6 Read a variety of poetry
    4.7 Write rhymed, unrhymed, and patterned poetry
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 5: Weather Experiment "The Pressure Is On"
    NatureScope: Wild About Weather p. 11

    Grade 2 Weather Unit: Processes of Science-Measuring

    Objective:

  • Students will investigate and understand how weather conditions occur.

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    Materials:

  • Experimental Lab Sheet, yardstick, balloons, yardsticks, string, pin, books

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    Procedures:

    1. Explore that air has weight and moves form an area or higher to lower pressure.
    2. Read What Causes It? A Beginning Book About Weather by Jane Moncure.
    3. Experiment # 1:
    4. a. Make a yardstick balance.
      b. Why does the balance tip when one balloon is deflated? (deflated balloon weighs less than inflated one)
    5. Experiment # 2:
    6. a. Fill balloons with air.
      b. Release them outdoors.
      c. Why did the balloons zip away? (air moves from an area of higher to lower pressure)
    Evaluation:
  • Assess student abilities recording results accurate on Experimental Lab sheets.

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    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.6 Study weather condition & phenomena
  • Math:
  • 4.12 Estimate and measure length measuring devices
  • English:
  • Writing:
    4.7 Write effective narratives and explanations
    4.8 Edit final copies of writing
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 6: Weather "Follow the Front" 
    NatureScope: Wild About Weather p. 21

    Grade 4: Predicting Weather

    Objective:

  • Students will explain what a front is and define the terms warm front and cold front.

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    Materials:

  • Copy NatureScope: Wild About Weather p. 25, scissors, blue crayons, tape, tagboard

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    Procedures:

    1. Make a paper model of a warm front and a cold front.
    2. Read I Can Be a Weather Forecaster by Claire Martin.
    3. Explain what a front is (NatureScope: Wild About Weather p.16, 17).
    4. a. Make "front viewers" (Copy NatureScope: Wild About Weather p. 25).
      b. Discuss how warm and cold fronts are formed.
    Evaluation:
  • Check student records of what happens "front wise" each day (newspaper, Internet, and other media sources).

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  • Weathernet

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     SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.6 Study weather condition & phenomena
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Use effective oral communication skills
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 7: Weather "Cloud Chart" 
    NatureScope: Wild About Weather (Insert between pp. 32 and 33)

    Learn About Clouds
    Science of Hurricanes
     
     

    Objective:

  • Students will investigate and identify different types of clouds.

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    Materials:

  • Copy NatureScope: Wild About Weather (Insert between pp. 32 and 33), blue bulletin-board paper, pencils, crayons, markers, yardsticks

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    Procedures:

    1. Read The Cloud Book by Tomie de Paola
    2. a. Observe clouds in the sky.
      b. Write your observations.
    3. Design a cloud chart:
    4. a. Discuss the characteristics of clouds (cumulus=puffy, bulgy clouds, stratus=low, gray clouds, cirrus=high wispy clouds).
      b. Use the insert (NatureScope: Wild About Weather between pp. 32 and 33) to build a cloud chart.
    5. Share cloud charts with the class.
    Evaluation:
  • Assess accuracy of student cloud charts.

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    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.6 Study weather condition & phenomena
  • Math:
  • 4.12 Estimate and measure length using actual measuring devices
    4.19 Collect, organize, and display data in line and bar graphs
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Use effective oral communications skills
    4.2 Make and listen to oral presentations
    Writing:
    4.7 Write effective narrative and explanations
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 8: Plant Anatomy & Life Processes "Seed Need"
    Project WILD p. 78

    Plant Links
    Plants Pages
    Photographs of Flowering Plants

    Objective:

  • Students will be able to explain how seeds are carried by animals, and investigate and understand how through seed dispersal wildlife contributes to a healthy ecological system.

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    Materials:

  • Fuzzy sock, tape, magnifying glasses, clear cups, graph paper, drawing paper

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    Procedures:

    1. Explore how seeds are dispersed.
    2. Read A Seed is a Promise by Claire Merrill
    3. Gather seeds by going outside and wearing old socks over shoes.
    4. a. Carefully remove socks.
      b. Examine the seeds with a hand lens.
      c. Chart the seeds on graph paper.
      d. Try growing the seeds in a cup.
    5. Draw pictures of seeds that are transported by animals and identify the part of the seed that makes this possible.
    Evaluation:
  • Assess student abilities to explain in story form "How Seeds Scatter and Grow"

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    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.4 Investigate & understand basic anatomy & life processes of plants
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Contribute to group discussions
    Reading/Literature:
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    Writing:
    4.7 Write effective narratives and explanations
  • Math:
  • 4.19 Collect, organize, and display data on graphs
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 9: Plant Anatomy & Life Processes
    "Inside a Seed", "Seed Grows", "It’s in a Bag"
    Aims Activities: Primarily Plants pp. 2-15

    Ornamental Plants
     

    Objective:

  • Students will plant seeds and observe and understand how they grow and what they look like.

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    Materials:

  • Copy selected pages from Aims Activities: Primarily Plants pp. 2-15, bean seeds, plastic sandwich bags, portfolio

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    Procedures:

    1. Observe the structures of a typical plant.
    2. Read The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
    3. Look inside a bean seed.
    4. Soak the bean seed overnight.
    5. Place it in a plastic bag and watch it grow.
    6. Record the growth of the bean seed on a graph.
    7. Write a story titled "The Bean Seed" and describe how it grew (root, stem, leaves, and flower).
    Evaluation:
  • Assess student stories on how well they explained germination.

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    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.4 Investigate basic anatomy & life processes of plants
  • Math:
  • 4.19 Collect, organize, and display data on graphs
  • English:
  • Reading/Literature:
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    4.7 Write effective narratives and explanations
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 10: Plant Anatomy & Life Processes
    "Adopt a Tree" Project Learning Tree (PLT)p. 66

    Explore the Fantastic Forest!

     Objective:

  • Students will investigate and describe through observation a chosen tree and organize information about it.

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    Materials:

  • Drawing paper, copy of PLT p. 68, centimeter tapes

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    Procedures:

    1. Investigate the structure of a tree.
    2. Read Trees by Jonathan Pine.
    3. Choose a tree.
    4. Describe the tree using your senses.
    5. Work in pairs to measure its height, circumference, and crown.
    6. Create a picture of a flip-up tree.
    Evaluation:
  • Assess student abilities by examining essays about the life of a tree from the tree’s perspective.

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    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.4 Investigate basic anatomy & processes of plants
  • Math:
  • 4.12 Estimate and measure length using actual measuring devices
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.2 Make and listen to oral presentations and reports
    Writing:
    4.7 Write effective narratives and explanations
    Research::
    4.9 Use information resources to research a topic
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 11: Plant Anatomy & Life Processes
    "Air Plants" PLT p. 85

    Objective:

  • Students will demonstrate and describe the process of photosynthesis; and students will investigate and understand how humans depend on photosynthesis for survival.

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    Materials:

  • Activity sheet PLT p. 87, large ball of string

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    Procedures:

    1. Discuss how plants are different from people (make their own food=photosynthesis).
    2. Read Be a Friend to Trees by Patricia Lauber.
    3. Perform this experiment:
    4. a. Give each child a 20-foot string (5 foot, each side) and make a square.
      b. Arrange squares into a grid.
      c. Share that plots in grid represent area needed by group for one day’s oxygen supply.
    Evaluation:
  • Assess student completion of activity sheet (PLT p. 87) and oral presentation of information on sheet.

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    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.4 Investigate basic anatomy & life processes of plants
  • Math:
  • 4.12 Estimate & measure length
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Contribute to group discussions & support opinions
    Reading/Literature:
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 12: Plant Anatomy & Life Processes
    "Bursting Buds" PLT p. 232

    Objective:
  • Students will investigate and understand the purpose of a tree’s buds, and describe where leaves come from and how they form.

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    Materials:

  • drawing paper, notebooks

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    Procedures:

    1. Observe the size and structure of a plant as an adaptation to its habitat.
    2. Read Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf by Lois Ehlert.
    3. Observe a tree or shrub every few months throughout the year.
    4. a. Ask students where will new leaves come from? (buds)
      b. Describe how leaves are formed.
      c. Measure the growth of leaves.
    Evaluation:
  • Record observations throughout the year, and write a description of how buds change into leaves.

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    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.4 Investigate basic anatomy & life processes of plants
  • Math:
  • 4.12 Estimate and measure length using measuring devices
  • English/
  • Writing:
    4.7 Write effective narratives and explanations
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 13: Plants & Animals in an Ecosystem
    "Planet of Plenty" PLT p. 24

    NASA's Mission to Planet Earth

    Objective:

  • Students will investigate the diversity of life on Earth and understand its importance.

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    Materials:

  • Measuring tape, clipboard, pencils, writing paper, string, magnifiers, poster board

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    Procedure:

    1. Explore an ecosystem made up of plants and animals.
    2. Read The View from the Oak by Herbert and Judith Kohl
    3. Part A: "Mission to Planet Earth"
    4. a. Pretend students are scientists from planet Devoid studying life on Earth.
      b. Plot, study, record, describe, and classify all life forms on Earth.
      c. Work in teams.
    5. Part B: "Diversity Data"
    6. a. Mark boundaries of observation area (20-foot square).
      b. Predict the types of life forms.
      c. Examine and record data from their area.
    7. Part C: "Back on Devoid"
    8. a. Present findings from each team.
      b. Take notes on other team findings.
      c. Draw conclusions about the number and kind of plants and animals found.
    Evaluation:
    1. Write a letter to a pen pal to another planet describing what you found on Earth.
    2. Assess data collection, clarity of presentations, and accuracy of conclusions.

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    SOL:
  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.5 Study plant & animal ecosystems
  • Math:
  • 4.12 Estimate and measure length
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Contribute to group discussions, and support opinions
    4.2 Make and listen to oral presentations
    Reading/Literature:
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    Writing:
    4.7 Write effective narratives and explanations
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 14: Plants and Animals in an Ecosystem
    "Water Address" Project WET p. 122

    Larry's Hot Spots
    Take a Tour of Public Lands

    Objective:

  • Students will recognize water-related adaptations of some plants and animals.

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    Materials:

  • Copy Water Address Cards Project WET p. 124-125, pencils, paper, world map, encyclopedia, 3"x 5" index cards

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    Procedure:

    1. Identify plant and animal adaptations and their habitats by analyzing clues
    2. Read The Desert is Theirs Byrd Baylor
    3. a. List the plants and animals in this desert book.
      b. Compare plant and animal adaptations in the desert to the Arctic, aquatic, temperate, or rain forest habitat
      c. Write about a different habitat titled "The _________ is Theirs".
    4. Play riddle game "Water Address":
    5. a. Hand out a set of Water Address cards to each group.
      b. Pick one member of the group as a "reader".
      c. Assign points according to the number of clues read before the name of the organism and its water address. is guessed (i.e., 1 clue= 4 points, 2 clues= 3 points, 3 clues=2 points, and all 4 clues=1 point)
      d. Continue the game until all the cards have been read.
    Evaluation:
    1. Identify an organism and its environment based on a set of clues.
    2. Create and write clues for a different organism.
    3. Evaluate written descriptions of a different habitat.

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    SOL:
  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.5 Study plant & animal ecosystems
  • Math:
  • 4.19 Collect, organize, and display data
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Use effective oral communication skills
    Reading/Literature:
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    4.5 Demonstrate comprehension of a variety of literary forms
    Writing:
    4.7 Write effective narratives and explanations
    4.9 Use information resources to research a topic
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 15: Plants and Animals in an Ecosystem
    "Can It Be Real" PLT p. 30

    Animal Hot Spots

    Objective:

  • Student will investigate unusual plants and animals and describe their adaptations to environments.

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    Materials:

  • Copy PLT pp. 33 & 34, pencils, research (Internet, CD-ROMs and books for unusual plants and animals), poster board, markers

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    Procedures:

    1. Investigate extraordinary plants and animals to gain insight into adaptations to ecosystems.
    2. Read Birds, Insects, Animals, or Plants Do the Strangest Things by Hornblow.
    3. a. Ask if the stories could be real.
      b. Write why you think a story is real (fact) or unreal (fiction).
    4. Part A: "Stranger Than Fiction"
    5. a. Pass out copies of fictitious plants and animals PLT p. 33.
      b. Choose whether the animal or plant is "real" or "fictitious" based on descriptions.
      c. Identify all the plants and animals as "real".
    6. Part B: "The Adaptables"
    7. a. Discover the unique adaptations (PLT p. 34 "Amazing Animals & Plants").
      b. Create a poster describing their animal.
      c. Present posters to the class.
    Evaluation:
  • Assess presentations of posters for clarity of understanding the relationship between species adaptations and the environment.

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    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.5 Study plant & animal ecosystems
  • Math:
  • 4.19 Collect, organize, and display data
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Use effective communication skills
    4.2 Make and listen to oral presentations and reports
    Reading/Literature:
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    4.9 Use information resources to research a topic

    Lesson 16: Plants and Animals in an Ecosystem
    "Quick Frozen Critters" Project WILD p. 122

    Animal Diversity at the University of Michigan

    Objective:

  • Students will investigate and understand the importance of adaptations in predator/prey relationships.

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    Materials:

  • food tokens (pennies), arm bands, 4-5 hula hoops, pencil, paper

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    Procedures:

    1. Read Animal Fact: Animal Fable by Seymour Simon.
    2. Play a version of "freeze tag".
    3. a. Select students as either "predators" (one predator per four prey) or "prey".
      b. Identify one end of a playing field or gym the "food source" and the other end the "shelter".
      c. Place 4-5 hula hoops as additional shelter in the space between the ends.
      d. Prey start rounds by moving from their "shelter" to the "food source" to collect one token (penny) each round.
      e. Prey may "freeze" or find "shelter" to avoid being caught.
      f. Predators must capture two prey by removing their arm bands.
    Evaluation:
  • Discuss effective ways prey avoided capture and compare them to animals in the wild.

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    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.5 Study plant & animal ecosystems
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Use effective communication skills
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 17: Plants and Animals in an Ecosystem
    "Grasshopper Gravity" Project WILD p. 16


    Objective:

  • Students will observe live grasshoppers and investigate relationships between structure and function, recognize wildlife occurs in a variety of size and forms, and understand the responsibility and power of humans regarding animals.

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    Materials:

  • Copy "Grasshoppers" Project WILD p. 17, tennis-ball collection containers, magnifiers, pencil

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    Procedures:

    1. Observe, handle and describe live grasshoppers or crickets.
    2. Read several of Aesop’s fables, including "The Ass and the Grasshopper" from The Aesop for Children by Milo Winter p. 56
    3. a. Discuss the lesson in the story, "The laws of nature are unchangeable".
      b. After reading several, write your own fable.
    4. In fall, collect one grasshopper for every two students.
    5. a. Use tennis-ball containers.
      b. Carefully observe the grasshoppers without harming them.
      c. Answer the question sheet titled "Grasshoppers" Project WILD p. 17.
    Evaluation:
  • Discuss how grasshoppers fit into the ecosystem. (What do they eat? What eats them?)

  • SOL:
  • Science:
  • 4.5 Investigate & understand how plants & animals ecosystems interact
  • Math:
  • 4.19 Collect, organize, and display data
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Use effective communication skills
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    Writing:
    4.7 Write effective narratives and explanations
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 18: Plants and Animals in an Ecosystem
    "Designing a Habitat: TechnoZoo" Project A/W p. 20

    Take a Tour of Endangered Species!
    Sea World: Animal Information
    The Best Animal Sites on the WWW
    Contribute to Our Endangered Species Project!
    Check out TechnoZoo!

    Objective:

  • Students will investigate and understand the components of a habitat that is suitable for the survival of most animals.

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    Materials:

  • 3x5 cards, modeling clay, 1"square graph paper, popsicle sticks, Easter grass, cotton balls

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    Procedures:

    1. Design a habitat suitable for wildlife to survive in a zoo.
    2. Present this problem: "In order to understand the future survival of many animals, you will design and construct zoo habitats for endangered animals." Then group students into collaborative teams of four or five students. Give teams a habitat such as these examples:
    3. Give team members an animal to save from extinction along with information (characteristics, habitat, predation, enclosure size) to find on their animals. Have students use clay, popsicle sticks and paper goods to build model habitats on inch-squared graph paper. Teams research animal information using Internet databases. They summarize information gathered from the WWW, use mathematical skills to calculate animal enclosure sizes on graph paper, and gather materials to construct their zoo habitats.
    4. The assessment component of "TechnoZoo" consists of an oral presentation - each student leads a 3-5 minute guided tour of their section of the zoo exhibit.
    5. Read Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat.
    6. a. Design a habitat for the two owls.
      b. Discuss the pros and cons of keeping wild animals in captivity.
    Evaluation:
    1. Assess the 3-D model for accuracy.
    2. Test the components of a suitable habitat to insure that survival needs were met.

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    SOL:
  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.5 Study plant & animal ecosystems
  • Math:
  • 4.12 Estimate and measure length
    4.14 Use perimeter and find the perimeter in both standard and nonstandard units of measure
    4.19 Collect, organize, and display data
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Use effective oral communication skills
    4.2 Make and listen to oral presentations and reports
    Reading/Literature:
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    Research::
    4.9 Use information resources to research a topic
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 19: Plants and Animals in an Ecosystem


    "Owl Pellets" Project WILD p. 144

    "King of the Night" Poem




    Objective:

  • Students will be able to construct a food chain

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    Materials:

  • Copy key, owl pellets, tweezers, tape, large pieces of tagboard, "A Home for Pearl" video.

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    Procedures:

    1. Examine owl pellets in order to construct a simple food chain.
    2. Read Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
    3. a. Render the text by writing phrases from the book on the chalkboard.
      b. Write your own "Owl" story or poem.
    4. Purchase owl pellets from biological supply or wildlife refuge
    5. Activity:
    6. a. Divide students into groups of two to four.
      b. Separate the bones from the fur and feathers.
      c. Examine, identify, and label the bone structures using a key.
    7. Draw a food chain that includes the owl (e.g., owl, field mouse, grasshopper, seeds, sun).
    8. View "A Home for Pearl" (3, 15 to 20 minute segments on wildlife).
    Evaluation:
  • Assess student food chains for accuracy

  •  

     
     
     

    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.5 Study plant & animal ecosystems
  • English: Reading/Literature
  • 4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    4.6 Read a variety of poetry
    Writing:
    4.7 Write effective narratives
    Research::
    4.9 Use information resource to research a topic
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 20: Plants and Animals in an Ecosystem
    "Deadly Links" Project WILD p. 270

    Check out Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge Lesson Plans

    Objective:

  • Students will understand how pesticides can enter and possibly harm food chains.

  •  

     
     
     

    Materials:

  • Plastic grocery bags, colored arm bands (2 red, 6 green, 18 white)

  •  

     
     
     

    Procedures:

    1. Investigate ways pesticides enter a food web.
    2. Read the ridiculous stories of Owl at Home by Arnold Lobel, and write your own funny story about an owl.
    3. Substitute food chain for an owl, field mice, grasshopper and wheat seeds.
    4. Procedure:
    5. a. Divide students into three groups: 3X as many field mice as owls, and 3X as many grasshoppers as field mice. (e.g., 26 students= 18 grasshoppers, 6 field mice, and 2 owls)
      b. Hand each grasshopper a plastic bag (stomach)
      c. Distribute multi-colored square pieces of paper over an open space (field, gym, or classroom).
      d. Take turns collecting food: First grasshoppers gather square pieces; then field mice gather grasshoppers (stomach bags); and finally owls collect bags (stomach bags) from the field mice.
    6. Examine the contents of the owls’ bags.
    7. a. List contaminants (pesticides) in the food chain (i.e., multi-colored square pieces).
      b. Record the number of pesticides in the food chain.
      c. Write how the pesticides got into the food chain using a cumulative tale such as "This is the House That Jack Built" (e.g. This is the habitat where Owl lives; these are the field mice that Owl eats; these are the field mice who eat the grasshoppers who ate the grain that live in the habitat where Owl lives; this is Owl who eats the field mice who ate the grasshoppers who ate the polluted grain in the habitat where Owl used to live...).
    Evaluation:
  • Give three examples of ways in which pesticides could enter a food chain and discuss two possible consequences.

  •  

     
     
     

    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.5 Study plant & animal ecosystems
  • English: Reading/Literature
  • 4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    Writing:
    4.7 Write effective narratives and explanations
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 21: Plants and Animals in an Ecosystem
    "Humpty Dumpty" Project WET p. 316

    Learn About the Naturalist John Muir

    Objective:

  • Students will investigate and understand the challenges of restoring an altered natural environment, and simulate a restoration process by putting an ecosystem back together again.

  •  

     
     
     

    Materials:

  • Copy of the puzzle pattern Project WET p. 321, old magazines, glue, scissors, tagboard, objects with multiple parts.

  •  

     
     
     

    Procedures:

    1. Read the nursery rhyme "Humpty Dumpty" in Mother Goose by Cyril Richard, Celeste Holm, and Boris Karloff.
    2. Discuss how Humpty Dumpty would look if he was put back together again.
    3. Make a nature scene puzzle.
    4. a. Distribute copy of the puzzle pattern Project WET p. 321
      b. Glue the pattern onto tagboard and cut around the circle.
      c. Cut out nature scenes from magazines and glue it to the other side of the tagboard.
      d. Put the puzzles back together again.
    5. Disassemble and reassemble discarded items (spring-loaded pens, clock, radio, toy, fry pan.)
    6. Compare restoration in real-life to the puzzle and other items they reassembled.
    Evaluation:
  • Assess student abilities to restore the nature scene using puzzle pieces.

  •  

     
     
     

    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.2 Investigate & understand energy is needed to do work (machines)
    4.5 Study plant & animal ecosystems
  • Math:
  • 4.2 Solve problems involving pattern identification & completion of patterns
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Use effective oral communication skills
    Reading/Literature:
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 22 : Simple Machines
    "Energetic Water" Project WET p. 242

    The Way Things Work: David Macauley

    Objective:

  • Students will investigate and understand how water can be used to do work.

  •  

     
     
     

    Materials:

  • Wood blocks, coarse sandpaper, glue, masking tape, paper cups, Styrofoam pieces, pipe cleaners, plastic spoons, plastic straws, scissors, corks, cardboard, string, tongue depressors

  •  

     
     
     

    Procedures:

    1. Design devices to make water do work.
    2. Explore the wheel and axle at work with The Way Things Work by David Macauley pp. 36, 37 (also available in CD-ROM).
    3. Discuss how moving water changes from potential to kinetic energy to do work. (e.g., grind grain, tell time, lift ships, operate cars, train, and ships)
    4. Share "Water Through Time" time line Project WET p. 245.
    5. Build a machine that shows how the energy generated by water can do work:
    6. a. Give each team a "Student Invention Kit".
      b. Allow teams time to complete projects.
      c. Demonstrate team solutions to the problem.
    Evaluation:
    1. Write a description of how your machine works.
    2. Identify what energy form was used and what work was done.
    3. Assess models for design accuracy.
    SOL:
  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.2 Investigate & understand energy is needed to do work (machines)
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Use effective oral communication skills
    4.2 Make and listen to oral presentations
    Reading/Literature:
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    4.7 Write effective narratives
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 23: Virginia’s Natural Resources
    "Branching Out" Project WET p. 129

    Water Resources for the Chesapeake Bay

    Objective:

  • Students will construct a watershed model to investigate and understand how water flows in watershed and drainage patterns.

  •  

     
     
     

    Materials:

  • Make a transparency of "Branching Patterns"Project WET p. 132, spay bottles, blue-colored water, drawing paper, pencil, blue pencils, tracing paper, maps of local rivers.

  •  

     
     
     

    Procedures:

    1. Read Where the River Begins Thomas Locker -Do the activity "Where the River Begins" UNITES V2 (4), p. 58
    2. a. Map the river in the story.
      b. Map a local river (e.g., New River) from its source to its mouth.
      c. After reading the story, use your senses to write about a trip along a river.
    3. Build a model of a watershed:
    4. a. Wrap rocks with white paper and lay them in a aluminum pan.
      b. Sketch "high" and "low" spots.
      c. Spray blue-colored water over the model and note where it flows.
      d. Mark the actual branching patterns with blue pencil.
      e. Determine if smaller watersheds overflow into larger ones (Is there one place or more than one place water collects?)
    5. Compare drawings with pictures in Where the River Begins.
    Evaluation:
    1. Compare drainage pattern of watersheds to other branching networks.
    2. Write a story or draw a map of drainage patterns in your watershed.

    3.  

       
       
       
       
       

    SOL:
  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.8 Study Virginia natural resources
  • Math:
  • 4.19 Collect, organize, and display data
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Use effective oral communication skills
    Reading/Literature:
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    Writing:
    4.7 Write effective narratives
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 24: Virginia’s Natural Resources
    "Rainy Day Hike" Project WET p. 186

    Objective:
  • Students will investigate and understand the concepts of watersheds, and identify how water flows over the school grounds.

  •  

     
     
     

    Materials:

  • Maps of local community, showing streams, lakes, and topography, drawing paper, copy the Legend Project WET p. 190 (2 sets), rain gear, clip boards with paper, plastic wrap, pencils

  •  

     
     
     

    Procedures:

    1. Introduce students to the concept of watersheds by collecting data about water flowing over the school grounds.
    2. Read Paddle to the Sea by Holling Clancy Holling -Do activity "Paddle to the Sea" UNITES V2 (4), p. 47.
    3. a. Keep a diary of Paddle’s trip to the sea.
      b. Diagram the tributaries ( river branches) Paddle took on his way to the sea.
    4. Part I:
    5. a. Create a map of the school grounds (divide the grounds into sections and assign groups to map each area).
      b. Predict where water flows onto the school grounds.
    6. 4. Part II:
    7. a. Tour the school grounds on a rainy day.
      b. Compare predictions with actual flow of water on the school grounds.
    8. Extension: Measure the slope gradient.
    9. Have Paddle boat races down the slopes.
    Evaluation:
    1. List ways the school grounds positively affect water passing through the watershed.
    2. Locate sources of point and non-point source pollution on the school grounds.

    3.  

       
       
       
       
       

    SOL:
  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.8 Study Virginia natural resources
  • Math:
  • 4.12 Estimate and measure length
  • English: Reading/Literature
  • 4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    4.5 Demonstrate comprehension of a variety of literary forms
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 25: Virginia’s Natural Resources
    "Sum of the Parts" Project WET p. 267



    Objective:

  • Students will recognize everyone is responsible for a river’s water quality.

  •  

     
     
     

    Materials:

  • White bulletin-board paper, drawing pencils or markers, pencil, scissors

  •  

     
     
     

    Procedures:

    1. Read A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry.
    2. Do the activity "A River Ran Wild" UNITES V2 (5), p. 123.
    3. a. Represent "polluter" or "filterers".
      b. Write captions explaining the degradation and restoration of the river on a time line.
    4. Activity:
    5. a. Pass out "pieces" (use Project WET p. 267 to label) of property along a stream.
      b. Draw how you would use your property, if given a million dollars.
      c. Put the puzzle "pieces" together to form a stream.
    Evaluation:
    1. Assess student abilities to transfer this process to a lake system.
    2. Once puzzle pieces are put together, discuss individual contributions to total water quality.
    3. Write a paragraph identifying what students can do to protect water quality.

    4.  

       
       
       
       
       

    SOL:
  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.8 Study Virginia natural resources
  • Math:
  • 4.1 Identify, orally and in writing, place value of digits
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Use effective oral communication skills
    Reading/Literature:
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    Writing: Write effective narrative and explanations
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 26: Virginia’s Natural Resources
    "Who Lives Here" Project WILD p. 174

    Endangered Species List

    Objective:

  • Students will identify some native and non-native animal inhabitants of Virginia.

  •  

     
     
     

    Materials:

  • Research (CD-ROM, Internet, library books), writing materials, pencils

  •  

     
     
     

    Procedures:

    1. Read Where Do You Think You Are Going, Christopher Columbus by Jean Fritz
    2. a. Discuss how Columbus and his crew were not alone on the voyages.
      b. Columbus, other explorers, and settlers introduced many non-native inhabitants to the New World (grasses and wild flowers, horses, cows, pigs).
    3. Guess whether animals are native or non-native.
    4. a. Some introduced species (clover, dandelion, brown trout, rainbow trout, pheasant, carp, starlings, wild boars, nutria, killer bees, gypsy moths, Norway rat, English sparrow, Hungarian partridge,).
      b. Some native species (wood rat, bald eagle, bluebird, coyote, bear, white-tailed deer, cotton-tailed rabbit, field mice, raccoon, possum).
    5. Research an endangered species in your area:

    6. Contribute Reports to Endangered Species Project!
      Reports on Endangered Species of Virginia
    Evaluation:
  • Assess student abilities to name five species that are native to Virginia and five species that are non-native

  •  

     
     
     

    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.8 Study Virginia natural resources
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Use effective oral communication skills
    Reading/Literature:
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    Research::
    4.9 Use information resources to research a topic
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 27: Virginia’s Natural Resources
    "Animal Charades" Project WILD p. 4

    Wolf Park

    Objective:

  • Students will be able to distinguish between domesticated and non-domesticated animals.

  •  

     
     
     

    Materials:

  • Writing paper, container, pencils

  •  

     
     
     

    Procedures:

    1. Read The First Dog by Jan Brett.
    2. a. Examine how humans domesticated (tamed) the dog.
      b. Compare domesticated with wild animals.
    3. Play "Animal Charades".
    4. a. Write name, animal’s name, and whether domesticated or wild on a slip of paper.
      b. Draw a name from a container.
      c. Portray and guess the animal.
    SOL:
  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.8 Study Virginia natural resources
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Use effective oral communication skills
    4.2 Make and listen to oral presentations
    Reading/Literature:
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 28: Virginia’s Natural Resources
    "Dragonfly Pond" Project Aquatic WILD p. 154

    Dragonfly Magazine
    Lesson Plan: "Earth as a Home"

    Objective:

  • Students will investigate and understand human impact on our natural resources.

  •  

     
     
     

    Materials:

  • Copies of cut-out sheets Project Aquatic WILD p. 158,159, scissors, masking tape, glue, poster board

  •  

     
     
     

    Procedures:

    1. Read Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg.
    2. a. Discuss how humans have altered the environment in Walter’s dream
      b. Write about how you would like to see the environment in the future.
    3. Activity:
    4. a. Distribute copies of cut-out sheets Project Aquatic WILD p. 158,159.
      b. Divide the class into teams of four students.
      c. Have each team represent an interest group (i.e, residents, farmers, business, gas station owners, parks department personnel, highway department personnel, bleach factory).
      d. Use cut outs to make a community around Dragonfly Pond.
      e. Find the perimeter of Dragonfly Pond in metric and other standard units of length.
    5. Share team communities.
    6. Consider the consequences of human actions.
    Evaluation:
  • Name three things that people can do to reduce or prevent damage to wetlands

  •  

     
     
     

    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.8 Study Virginia natural resources
  • Math:
  • 4.14 Identify and describe situations representing the use of perimeter and use measuring devices to find the perimeter
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Use effective oral communication skills
    Reading/Literature:
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    Writing:
    4.7 Write effective narratives and explanations
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 29: Virginia’s Natural Resources
    "Fishy Who’s Who" Project Aquatic WILD p.86



    Objective:

  • Students will investigate and identify the major species of fish that live in Virginia.

  •  

     
     
     

    Materials:

  • Paper, information sources (Internet, telephone, library, family members), pencils

  •  

     
     
     

    Procedures:

    1. Read Fish Calendar by Siegfried Schmitz.
    2. Activity:
    3. a. Make a list of fish that live in the state.
      b. Identify the major aquatic habitats on a state map.
      c. Divide the class into research team.
      d. Find sources of information (e.g., Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries).
      e. Use sources to develop biographies of fishes that include fish’s name, where it live, its habits, and interesting fish facts.
    4. Sketch fish.
    5. Share information.
    Evaluation:
  • Assess the clarity and accuracy of reports presented by research teams.

  •  

     
     
     

    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.8 Study Virginia natural resources
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Use effective oral communication skills
    4.2 Make and listen to oral presentations
    Reading/Literature:
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    Writing:
    4.7 Write effective narratives and explanations
    Research:
    4.9 Use information resources to research a topic
    Return to Lesson Index

    Lesson 30: Virginia’s Natural Resources
    "Environmental Exchange Box or E-mail Exchange" Project WET p.61

    E-mail Exchange

    Objective:

  • Students will increase their understanding of Virginia’s natural resources.

  •  

     
     
     

    Materials:

  • Books about state’s natural history, markers, crayons, photos, and other art supplies

  •  

     
     
     

    Procedures:

    1. Read Heron Street by Ann Turner.
    2. a. Discuss how Virginia has changed since the settlement of Jamestown in 1607.
      b. Make a time line mural of Virginia’s environment since 1607.
    3. Find another group (class) to exchange information:
    4. a. Brainstorm items to include in the box or e-mail.
      b. Collect items.
    5. Examine contents of other’s box.
    6. Based off information in the box, write stories about adventures in other lands.
    Evaluation:
    .
  • Assess stories about adventures in other lands on how well students incorporate information in the box into their stories.

  •  

     
     
     

    SOL:

  • Science:
  • 4.1 Plan and conduct investigations
    4.8 Study Virginia natural resource
  • English:
  • Oral Language:
    4.1 Use effective oral communication skills
    Reading/Literature:
    4.4 Read fiction and nonfiction
    Writing:
    4.7 Write effective narratives and explanations
    Return to Lesson Index