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
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.
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.
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.
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
for more information on these worksheets.