LESSON:  Overall Creek Survey

You may want to use the “General Stream Survey” sheet to guide your students’  observations of the entire stream and to use the appendix to help with identification.  This is an excellent way to introduce the entire Lagoon to students. If you are planning to visit Stivers Lagoon more than once during the year you may want students to compare the different visits.  Save sheets from year to year, so students can compare with last year’s class.   Give them brief instructions

            LESSON:    Scavenger Hunt

Students have a list of “Nature goodies” that they are asked to look for.  This exercise will let the students wander on the trails with an adult.  Before the hunt, have them write down where they would predict finding these organisms.  Consult the appendix if you are unfamiliar with the organisms.

           LESSON:  Bird Survey Form

There are many birds in this area.  If you remain still and keep quiet you can hear and see them.  Ask students to sit near the gazebo area and be quiet.  They will start to see several different birds.  Have them identify the characteristics of the bird and record the information.  You can go back to class and try to identify the birds using information provided in the appendix.

           LESSON:    Murder in the Marsh

In a normal lagoon area, trees die of natural causes.  Dead trunks and fallen branches decompose naturally.  Students can observe the nutrient cycle in action.  This exercise has the student act as a detective and figure out who killed the log. The logs in the nature area are home to many creatures, so do not move them, just observe.  You may want to provide students with plastic gloves, so they  can act like forensic ecologists.

             LESSON:  Vines of Stivers Lagoon

As you walk through the lagoon you will notice a thick undergrowth.  It is important to identify this vegetation because one, poison oak, can give students a terrible rash!  The thorns of the non-native blackberry can tear their skin and clothing.  This activity has the students look at the leaves and identify them before they touch them.  Use the appendix for identification guidelines.




            LESSON:  Habitat Features Checklist

Students are asked to gather scientific data on water quality in the creek and describe the health of the creek. Have your students read the general article on watersheds (http://msnucleus.org/watersheds/watersheds.htm). Fill out the form which has students look at the different components.

            LESSON:   California Streamside Biosurvey Data Worksheet 

Students are asked to assess the little organisms that live in the stream.  Go over the different groups of arthropods with yours student prior to this lesson.  Consult  http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/nps/availdoc.html  for more information on these worksheets.