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Our Pond Ecosystem

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  1. Our Pond Ecosystem Grade Level: 1st By: Ngoc Tran, Mariela Roman, Thuy-Anh Do

  2. With the vacant lot we received, our students will help create a pond environment. The pond will give our students a close opportunity to experience and learn a little bit of nature. It will allow students the chance to observe animals and plants and learn about their roles in an ecosystem. Our pond will become a lab site primarily for Science and Math that will help enrich our lessons and overall learning experience. Overview:

  3. It Has Been Done! Few schools have had similar projects done. Ponds at these schools allow for students to learn in a hands on way about plants and animals in a more natural environment. Follow the link to see an India elementary school has already done this project with the help of designer Greg Spierhert of Crystal Palace Perennials, and with the helping hands of Mr. Spierhert, parents, teachers, and members of the Illiana Ponders.http://www.mvsc.k12.in.us/iddings/The%20Pond.htm

  4. How do plants and animals interact with the environment in a healthy way? How do plants and animals help contribute to our environment? Essential Questions

  5. (4)  Scientific processes. The student uses age-appropriate tools and models to verify that organisms and objects and parts of organisms and objects can be observed, described, and measured. (5)  Science concepts. The student knows that organisms, objects, and events have properties and patterns. (6)  Science concepts. The student knows that systems have parts and are composed of organisms and objects. (7)  Science concepts. The student knows that many types of change occur. (9)  Science concepts. The student knows that living organisms have basic needs. (10)  Science concepts. The student knows that the natural world includes rocks, soil, and water. Science:

  6. (1.1)  Number, operation, and quantitative reasoning. The student uses whole numbers to describe and compare quantities. (1.4)  Patterns, relationships, and algebraic thinking. The student uses repeating patterns and additive patterns to make predictions (1.7)  Measurement. The student directly compares the attributes of length, area, weight/mass, capacity, and temperature. The student uses comparative language to solve problems and answer questions. The student selects and uses nonstandard units to describe length. (1.9)  Probability and statistics. The student displays data in an organized form. Math:

  7. (15)  Reading/inquiry/research. The student generates questions and conducts research about topics using information from a variety of sources, including selections read aloud. (18)  Writing/purposes. The student writes for a variety of audiences and purposes and in a variety of forms. (21)  Writing/grammar/usage. The student composes meaningful texts by applying knowledge of grammar and usage. (23)  Writing/inquiry/research. The student uses writing as a tool for learning and research. Writing:

  8. (4)  Geography. The student understands the relative location of places. (6)  Geography. The student understands various physical and human characteristics of the environment. (9)  Economics. The student understands the value of work. Social Studies:

  9. (The pond is built for grades pre-k-4 to use as a learning tool but our unit is planned for 1st grade) Our unit will last all year long. At the beginning of the year, we will spend two weeks doing research on what we would like to see happen, what we will grow, and what animals would be appropriate and beneficial to our pond. We will then spend the third week building and planting our pond. Each week we will visit our pond on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to observe, make predictions, and maintain our project. The Beginning…

  10. Research and discuss what students think would be beneficial to the environment and the pond. What should be placed in and planted? Students will do a science activity and plant plants. They will maintain it throughout the year. Students will keep observation journals of how the pond changes. They will see how environmental factors affect plants and animals. Students will use math to count and measure things in the pond. They will note patterns and estimate how things will turn out. Students will create a map of the pond. Lessons:

  11. Websites: WebQuest for ponds including lesson ideas and interactive games for students http://www.hinghamschools.com/prs/teachers/donovanl/pondlifequest.htm Site for virtual ponds, math, and related science lessons as well as information on ponds: http://www.uen.org/utahlink/pond/ Activities and PowerPoints on life cycles and ponds: http://www.midwayisd.org/etrip/First/firstact.htm This site is useful in various ways: Tips on how, when, and where to build your pond. Learn how to care for the living and non-living organisms in this little ecosystem. Observe the maintenance and learning done by other classrooms’ ponds. http://web.ukonline.co.uk/conker/pond-dip/ Resources:

  12. Resources cont… Planning • Thematic planning book for 4-8 years old: All About the Pond by Barbara Allman and Judy Rowell Books • In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming is a wonderful picture book the teacher could share with students to discuss what animals could be found in the pond. • Children’s book introducing the life cycle of frog and other species: From Tadpole to Frog by Wendy Pfeffer • Children’s book going through steps needed for plants to grow healthy: How a Seed Grows by Helene Jordan • Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel • A good book to read by chapter. Good for writing prompts dealing with seasons (spring), relationships (friendships), dilemmas (writing a story), and losing items (like a button). • The Icky Sticky Frog by Dawn Bentley • The wide-mouthed frog • By Keith Faulkner A funny illustration of food chains, including those around ponds. A good read aloud for discussion of food chains and habitats

  13. Our concern for this project would be the survival of the pond. Unexpected circumstances such as weather could cause our pond to not thrive. A very specific schedule will have to be maintained by a project manager at the school. This person will be in charge of many things including keeping a schedule. This will insure that each classroom participates equally and has the opportunity to explore in various settings, like time of day and weather. Pitfalls and Concerns:

  14. And That’s That!!!