Students hear a story and dance to a water cycle music video. While visiting a wetlands ecosystem they act out the process of erosion in different environments, and participate in a relay where they pretend to be agents of evaporation and precipitation. Students imagine they experience the water cycle first hand and write a poem about it. Afterwards, each student creates a regional drawing of the water cycle.
Students examine the interaction of elements of the food chain - producers, consumers and decomposers - through dioramas and art projects in the classroom. In the field, a story and an active game reinforce predator-prey relationships. Students examine decomposers and their vital role in the nutrient cycle, then they investigate energy loss in the high desert food chain.
Students explore a few rocks and minerals of the area. They investigate how sandstone was formed and experiment with erosion to demonstrate how local landforms are the result of sand and rock being removed. Students explore biological soil crust, and search for clues to discover how we use rocks compared to the people who lived here in ancient times.
Students are introduced to animal adaptations as both activities and anatomy that help animals survive. On the field trip, students explore for beaver sign and dress-up one student to illustrate the amazing adaptations of this animal. Students pretend to be raptors, learning why the birds need sharp eyesight, and play a game that illustrates the adaptations of deer and mountain lions. Finally, they migrate as a gaggle of geese, and examine how much energy it takes to make the long journey.
A pre-trip activity introduces archeology and the artifacts that provide clues to the lives of ancient people. On the field trip, students make their own pottery, cordage, and rock art replicas, and examine an ancient rock art panel. Back in the classroom, students create a timeline of their own lives to learn how vandals can destroy the archeological record.
This in-class presentation uses story and visualization to explore how different types of animals survive the winter.
This in-class presentation explores the tools a student needs to hike safely in the desert ecosystem. Students learn their directions, things to bring with them, and what to do if they get lost.
Students take an imaginary river trip -- right in their classrooms. Along the way they explore how humans, animals, and insects use the river to survive.
Students will participate in a virtual dig and use accompanying field notes and action photos to investigate their own online "hearth" site.