Microorganisms of the Desert (download PDF)
This field trip offers two hour-long investigations, each focussing on small desert organisms: specifically, pothole organisms and lichens. Because pothole organisms are ephemeral and may not be in evidence at the time of your planned field trip, a third hour-long station is also described, investigating cryptobiotic soil. The pre-trip activity introduces a variety of microorganisms to students through microphotographs. After the field trip, students use microscopes to search for microorganisms in pothole water.
Bighorn Sheep (download PDF)
Before the field trip, students play a board game describing the habits and hardships of desert bighorn sheep. During the field trip hike, they search for and demonstrate their knowledge of bighorn sheep. Students explore the tracks and track patterns of animals that live in bighorn sheep habitat, the plants bighorns eat, and how to identify the birds that share bighorn habitat. Back in the classroom, students put clues together to solve a mystery involving microorganisms and the deaths of sheep.
Heat, Light and Sound (download PDF)
In the classroom, students review the properties of waves. On the field trip, students investigate what objects absorb and retain the most heat and use sound waves to find local birds. They observe how lenses change light waves, discovering which lenses are needed for specific uses, and they investigate how sunscreen blocks UV waves. Back in the classroom, students discuss when our use of heat, light or sound waves becomes overuse.
Download entire 6th Grade curriculum
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