Pond Power Post-Field Trip Lesson Plan

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1 Overview Pond Power Post-Field Trip Lesson Plan Research has shown that field trips are more educationally beneficial for students if students have the opportunity to review and reflect upon what was learned during the field trip (Flexer & Borun, 1984; Farmer & Wott 1995, Knapp, 2000). The following activities allow students to reflect on differences between their predictions and what they actually found on the field trip. Culminating activities allow students to relate learning back to their local environment. Objectives After completing post-field trip activities, students will be able to: Express how at least one of their pre-field trip pond life predictions differed from their actual findings Determine how human and environmental factors could have affected the number and the types of pond macroinvertebrates they found during their field trip Choose a culminating activity that allows students to undertake further research Teacher Preparation Make copies of the student worksheet: Pond Life Findings. Request that students bring to class the student worksheet: Pond Life Predictions that they filled out prior to their field trip. Read the choices of culminating activities at the end of this lesson plan. Based on the resources available to you and your students, determine which activities would be most successful in your classroom. If time does not permit activities to be carried out in the classroom, activities can be assigned as homework or group projects. Full descriptions of culminating activities, as well as each activity s grading rubric, can be downloaded at Lesson Outline Comparing Pond Life Predictions to Pond Life Findings What Affects Pond Life Other than Food Availability? Culminating Activities Lesson Details Comparing Pond Life Predictions to Pond Life Findings: Have students get into groups or pairs and use the first five minutes of class to fill in the student worksheet: Pond Life Findings (included in this lesson plan.) Use the Macroinvertebrate Key in this lesson plan to refresh students memory about which creatures they found. Once students have filled out the worksheet, ask them to compare this worksheet to the worksheet they completed prior to the field trip (Pond Life Predictions). Were any of their predictions correct? Based on the trophic pyramid and relative abundances of different trophic levels, should their predictions have been correct? If their predictions were not correct, could another factor (ex: the quality or depth of the water in the lake) affect what they found? What Affects Pond Life Other than Food Availability?: At this point, you can discuss factors other than the food chain that have an impact on the aquatic life they found in their samples. On the following page are three factors to discuss. This is not an exhaustive list, but can provide a starting point for the discussion.

2 Pond Power Post-Field Trip Lesson Plan Sampling: Not all aquatic organisms live at the same depth. If students found lots of macroinvertebrates that like to spend their time on the bottom of the pond, perhaps the net was cast deep for many of the samples. Additionally, depending on the season in which the sample was taken, the lifestages of some macroinvertebrates would need to be considered. Some lifestages are harder to capture because of they live deeper in the lake. For example, a macroinvertebrate in the larval lifestage might burrow deep into the mud on the bottom of lakes while the same macroinvertebrate in the nymph lifestage might inhabit the shallow edges of lakes. Dissolved Oxygen: Many aquatic organisms use the oxygen that is dissolved in water to survive. Some macroinvertebrates need more dissolved oxygen than others to survive. In lakes where the water is murky and there is a lot of plant growth or algae, concentrations of dissolved oxygen in the water may be low. Dissolved oxygen concentrations are lower in lakes where plants grow quickly, use up resources and begin to die. The decomposition of those plants uses dissolved oxygen. You might find different types of macroinvertebrates in lakes with low concentrations of dissolved oxygen than in lakes with high concentrations of dissolved oxygen. Chemicals: Some macroinvertebrates are sensitive to chemicals like pesticides and motor oil. These chemicals can enter lakes when rain carries them as run-off. Though no one is dumping chemicals into the water directly, many sources of pollution can indirectly reach lakes and streams through runoff. At this point in the lesson, you can discuss the term nonpoint source pollution. Unlike point source pollution (for example a factory dumping waste into a river) that can be linked to a direct source, nonpoint source pollution is derived from sources that can't be tied to a specific location (city streets, farm fields, etc.) Most nonpoint source pollution occurs as a result of runoff. When rain or melted snow moves over and through the ground, the water picks up pollutants it comes into contact with. (For further info, see Culminating Activities 1) Local Stream Virtual Sample: This culminating activity allows students to virtually sample the macrobiotic community of a stream near your school. Students use an online database that houses data collected by the Water Action Volunteers program (http://watermonitoring.uwex.edu/wav/). Students will navigate the database to find information, compare samples, and predict the health of your local stream. 2) Don t Run-off from My Backyard: This culminating activity allows students to illustrate how they would redesign their own yards or school yard to diminish run-off. Students present their initial drawings, noting any areas that need improvement. Students compare their redesign to their original drawing and show the solutions they used to improve the problem areas. 3) What s Living in Your Lake?: This culminating activity allows students to take samples of organisms in a lake near your school and compare these samples to their samples from the field trip. They can either sample during class, or you can bring a sample from the lake to class for them to look through. After sampling, students will hypothesize as to why there might be differences between the two lakes.

3 Pond Power Post-Field Trip Lesson Plan Resources Braun, D., Brown, A., & Strathe, S. (1994). Project Wetland Understanding Leading to Protection (WULP). Plymouth, WI: Outdoor Skills Center. University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension. (2006). Environmental Resource Center - Water Resource Education. Retrieved from University of Wisconsin Extension. (2007). Biotic Index. Retrieved from The University of Wisconsin Extension s fact sheet: Brown Water, Green Weeds: Familiar Signs of Runoff Pollution. (2001). [Web]. Retrieved at The University of Wisconsin Extension s fact sheet: Storm Sewers: The Rivers Beneath Our Feet. (2008). [Web]. Retrieved at Wade, S. (2004). Wonderful Wacky Water Critters [A publication of the University of Wisconsin-Extension in cooperation with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, pp. 27]. Retrieved from Webster, J. (2006). CWES Nature Navigator - What Did I See?- Pond Critters. Retrieved from Wisconsin Lakes Partnership. (1997). Leap into lakes and get wet. Eagle River, WI: Trees for Tomorrow. National Ocean and Services (NOS). (2010). Nonpoint source pollution Nutrients. Retrieved from: Wisconsin Model Academic Standards Addressed Environmental Education (5 th 8 th grade): Questioning and Analysis A.8.4, A.8.5, A.8.6 Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems (Energy and Ecosystems) B.8.5 Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems (Natural Resources and Environmental Quality) B.8.19 Environmental Issues Investigation C.8.4 Science (5 th - 8 th grade): Science Connections A.8.3 Science Inquiry C.8.2, C.8.4, C.8.5, C.8.6, C.8.9, C.8.11 Life and Environmental Science (Populations and Ecosystems) F.8.8 English Language Arts (5 th 8 th grade): Writing B.8.1 Oral Language C.8.2, C.8.3 Math (5 th 8 th grade): Mathematical Processes - A.8.1, A.8.2, A.8.3 Statistics and Probability - E.8.4

4 Pond Power Post-Field Trip Student Worksheet Names of people in your group: Instructions for completing this worksheet: Pond Life Findings 1) In the checklist below, check off the macroinvertebrates your group found on their field trip to CWES. Use the pictures in the Pond Power Post-Field Trip Lesson - Macroinvertebrate Key as a reminder. 2) Choose three macroinvertebrates that your class found on the field trip to CWES. In the table below, record the names of these organisms in the left-hand column. 3) In the right-hand column of the table below, record the trophic level that characterizes each of the three organisms you selected. To get more facts about each macroinvertebrate, visit the Pond Critters section of the CWES website at: or use the publication, Wonderful Wacky Water Critters. 4) Write the name of the macroinvertebrate that was most abundant in the lake in the space below. 5) Answer the question about your predictions vs. your findings at the lake. 6) Decide what other factors, besides the food chain and trophic levels could have affected what you found. Checklist of macroinvertebrates found: Mosquito Midgefly Cranefly Dobsonfly Caddisfly Dragonfly Damselfly Mayfly Stonefly Diving beetle Whirligig beetle Scavenger beetle Giant waterbug Backswimmer Waterboatman Water scorpion Water strider Springtail Seed shrimp Scud Water flea Copepod Crayfish Water Mite Water Spider Leech Planaria Tubifex worm Macroinvertebrate Trophic Level Macroinvertebrate that was the most abundant in the lake: Did the macroinvertebrate that was most abundant match your predictions from prior to the field trip? Though trophic levels and the food chain will affect what you found at the lake, there are also other factors that can affect what kinds of animals you find. Write about what other factors you think could have affected your results:

5 Pond Power Post-Field Trip Lesson Macroinvertebrate Key Damselfly 1

6 Pond Power Post-Field Trip Lesson Macroinvertebrate Key 2

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