to Water, Water Everywhere: Shaping Our
of Major Field Activities
activities, especially those that are inquiry-based, prepare students
to learn and help them to retain what knowledge they uncover during
the experience. These are activities that took place in an outdoor setting.
Please refer to the Learning Objectives
and unit Map Diagram to see how and when these activities fit into
the themed unit.
The core of the unit is a field trip to Stebbins Cold
Canyon Reserve. Here, students experience first-hand the importance
of water; not only does it shape the geography of the landscape, but
its presence leads to a gradient of different plants adapted to different
amounts of water and sunlight. Students have the opportunity to apply
what they have learned about adaptations and the environment, and use
the scientific method to test hypotheses they developed.
Generally, students will understand the concepts of adaptation and evolution
and will use the scientific method to develop testable hypotheses and
experiments, collect data, interpret results and report results. More
specifically, students will understand that all organisms have basic
requirements for life, that all organisms have adaptations that enable
them to meet these basic needs in different habitats, and that species
assemblages differ depending on environmental conditions.
Field notebooks, pencils, rulers, 10 m long strings for creating
measurement transects, disposable cameras, magnifying glasses,
and data sheets prepared for each of the research topics are needed.
In the classroom, prior to the field site visit, students split
into groups and are assigned one of three general research topics,
which they pursue at the Reserve:
|1. leaf size in deciduous vs. evergreen plant species
|2. plant species' diversity in different habitats
|3. tree species' distribution in different habitats
Each group will then follow the scientific
method to develop a research plan, beginning with developing testable
questions and hypotheses and concluding with experimental design and
expected results. At this point, the student groups will be ready for
the field site visit.
At the field site, each student group
will carry out its scientific investigation, based on the questions,
hypotheses, and methods prepared in the classroom. Upon completion of
the field site visit, students will then analyze their data and interpret
their results, ultimately making a classroom presentation of their findings.
Things to be done in the classroom
before the field trip
The concepts of adaptation and evolution should be covered prior to
the field trip. Additionally, the scientific method should be introduced
and explained. Students will also use the scientific method to prepare
their field experiment.
here to view student worksheet
Things to be done after the trip
After the trip, student groups will analyze their collected data and
interpret their results. They will prepare graphs and/or tables to present
their results and give an oral presentation on their findings.
How are you going to know that
you met your objectives and that the students learned what you wanted
them to learn?
There will be an assessment of understanding the concepts of evolution,
adaptation, and the scientific method. Contributions to the group preparations
for the field experiment and to the analysis and interpretation of results
from the experiment will demonstrate understanding.
Standards Satisfied by this Unit
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