Author: Irene Salter
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The Ecology Box covers ecosystems, food webs, habitats, and water/soil quality monitoring. Students will investigate water and soil quality, study habitats ranging from a drop of pond water to a rotten log, and learn about population change through various case studies. At the core of this unit is a long term project where students build mini-ecosystems with water collected from a local creek, soil from the schoolyard, and seeds. Their ecosystem will be monitored over one month as the plants grow and the water quality changes (measured by pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and water volume). In the second month, students will design their own experiments with their mini-ecosystems. Student teams will model various human environmental impacts (pollution, acid rain, global warming, etc.) and observe the effects on the plants, soil, and water in their mini-ecosystem.
Students discover what ecosystems are by exploring the relationships between him/herself, other living things, and the student's environment. Students create and study miniature ecosystems by building a terraqua column - a 2 story soda bottle tower with soil and plants on the top and a water source on the bottom. The terraqua columns will be used throughout the ecology unit for practice with water and soil quality monitoring and with making and recording observations. Later in the unit students can conduct independent investigations with their terraqua columns.
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The guiding mission behind MyScienceBox is that teachers should have free access to the best hands-on, classroom tested, science lessons. At MyScienceBox you will curriculum units that I have developed and tested in my own middle school classroom as well as teaching boxes and individual lessons created by other teachers. A flyer describing MyScienceBox in more detail can be downloaded at the bottom of this page.
Absolutely! Just go to the summary page of the lesson you are interested in. You should find a Microsoft Word (.doc) attachment at the bottom of the page. Click on that and the entire lesson plan should download to your computer. Please respect the copyright. Tell others that the idea came from Irene Salter and don't sell the lesson.
This box covers watersheds, wetlands, and the shaping of the San Francisco Bay Area. Students will create several 3 dimensional classroom models to explore watersheds, erosion, sedimentation, and wetlands.Students will explore the geography of the local area through maps and physical exploration, thereby learning where water in the Bay comes from and the path it takes before it reaches the ocean. Throughout the unit are strategies to apply classroom learning to the real world in the form of: