Students enhance their learning experience at Craters by using a Student Journal while on their field trip.
- Students will be able to determine the amount of time their bus journey would have taken had they walked or ridden a horse or wagon.
- Students will record their thoughts, art, observations, etc. in their personal field journal.
- Students will record the places they visited while on their tour of Craters.
- Students will draw a Craters ecosystem and label its living and non-living parts.
- One pencil with eraser for each student.
- One Student Journal for each student.
Printing Instructions: Before printing, change Page Setup... to print the page in Landscape mode. Due to the variability of computers, page sizes may vary. For Macintosh computers, it is recommended in Page Setup... to change the Scale to 85% for best fit printing. When complete, you should have two printed pages.
Go over the Journal with the students page by page before leaving on your field trip so the students will be prepared for the small amount of "book work they must do once they are at Craters. You may wish to explain a grading policy to the students and/or tell them that their success on future assignments hinges on their thoughtful responses in their Journal.
Following are the answers to Craters Bingo.
From the North Crater Flow Trail have the students observe the differences between the North Crater (a young cone) and Grassy Cone (an old cone). From the trail, North Crater is close and to the south while Grassy Cone is about a mile to the west.
Have students generate a list of differences between these two cones, for example:
|North Crater||Grassy Cone|
|Made of jagged, big rocks||Made of smaller rocks|
|Jagged outline||Smooth outline|
|Little vegetation||Covered with plants|
Then have them hypothesize why these two cones are different. If necessary, tell them that one cone is 2,500 years old (North Crater) while the other is 7,400 years old (Grassy Cone). Which is which and how do they know? You could instruct students to record their observations now and discuss it once you return to class.
The shape of Grassy Cone and the vegetation on its slopes indicate it has weathered longer and has had more time for soil to develop and plants to colonize its slopes.
You might also have the students hypothesize why trees grow on just one side of Grassy Cone. The forest grows only on the north side of Grassy Cone because we live in the northern hemisphere and the sun is always to the south of us. The cone casts a shadow northward, reducing evaporation on the north slope, thereby making life possible for water-loving trees.
Choose an area where students can safely leave the path to closely observe plant life growing amongst the lava (e.g., eaves area). Break them into teams and have them randomly choose a plot of lava, about 100 square feet in area, in which some plants are growing. Ask them to make a table as follows:
|Plants growing from crevices and cracks||Plants growing out of bare, flat lava|
Beneath each column they would record the number of plants that are growing in the two categories.
Discussion and analysis could be saved for the classroom. What were their findings? Did crevices and cracks support more plant live? If so, how much more? Why would plants thrive better in crevices and cracks? (water and soil is retained there better than on bare rock because there is more shade and less wind).
During the course of the day have the students make specific observations of their surroundings for an article they will write upon returning to class. Encourage them to use all of their senses. What did the area feel, sound, smell, and look like? How did their lunch taste that day? Challenge the students to create metaphors and/or similes for what they experience at Craters.
Instruct the students to keep a record of what they did and where they went. What geological observations did they make? What did they overhear other tourists saying about Craters? What birds and plants did they see? These specific notes could be used to write an article on their trip to Craters.