Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Ecosystems Activity

As a new teacher, every new unit is overwhelming and I have no idea where to start.  But for the ecosystems unit, I had a plan and felt prepared!!  Things had been going well all week.  Then my co-teacher came to me this morning saying she was doing the activity I was planning to do Friday, today!  Ah.  I had no idea what was happening but I decided to jump right in and do it today too.  It turned out quite spectacular.

Unfortunately I can not take credit for creating this activity but it was definitely a fun one.  We have been talking about how living and nonliving things are in ecosystems and that ecosystems can be very different or very much the same.  During recess my teaching partner and I went outside to string off ecosystems.  We found 4 areas that would hopefully contain different things.  Before we went outside we divided our notebook into 4 sections and labeled them ABCD, one for each ecosystem.  The students had to write down their observations and label if it was living or nonliving.  We had 4 groups of students and they had 7 minutes at each station.  I would walk around and visit each station during those 7 minutes.  (Yes, it was very very very hot!) At the last group, I would tell them to run to their next station and tell the group to rotate.  I would head over to the last group to get notified and tell them to rotate.  It worked quite well.  Here are some pictures of our ecosystems and kiddos working hard!

 This is an area behind the bathrooms that is very buggy.  And they just planted new papaya trees so they were drawing in some interesting bugs as well.
This was our tree area by the playground. It had a nest and moss growing in the tree and a bunch of sand and rocks.   

This was our lively area.  Lots of plants were included here and attracted many bugs: butterflies, dragonflies, ants, beetles, and much more!

The other area was the dry area.  It was mostly sand and rocks.  It had a tree that was losing its life.  The area was quite large but had little in it and made for a good talking point.  However, I somehow ended up there as time was running out and the photo-op was definitely gone!

I had to take and share this picture.  The lively area was far away from any sort of table or hard surface.  When I arrived to this group, this is what I saw.  PROBLEM SOLVING and TEAMWORK!! I was so so thrilled.  These kids are great!

This activity is definitely something I will do again.  I might try to make it so the ecosystems are not spread out over campus so much that way I do not kill myself keeping an eye on the kids!  It was a lot of fun for both me and the kids and made learning about ecosystems that much more real for them!

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