Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Backyard Science

This year Landon and Kennady will be studying ecology, using the book God's Design for Chemistry and Ecology: Properties of Ecosystems.  We completed the first lesson last week, but because of busy-ness and inclement weather, we put off the outdoor project until we had a nice weather day and plenty of time.  That day was yesterday.

Lesson One introduced the concept of ecosystems, and we learned about ecozones and completed a map showing the biogeographic realms or ecozones of the world.  We also read about the first ecosystem, the Garden of Eden.  Our project was to mark off a one square yard area in our backyard and observe the different elements in that small area of an ecosystem.  Understandably, that would not have been a great deal of fun in the rain!

Here is our marked off area, just adjacent to a water garden tub and slightly overgrown arbor area in our yard.

We thought this spot would work well because it was out of the way of the mower and traffic so we should be able to leave it undisturbed for quite a while and see if we notice any changes over time.

After marking off the area, we got down close and looked and listened for signs of life.  The kids had a notepage where they wrote down what they saw and heard.
did an insect make those holes in the leaves?
dead leaves and living grasses
We observed ants, flies, crickets, and several other insects that we weren't able to catch on film.  We heard birds in the area so we could assume that some might come to our little patch of ecosystem for food (insects, plants) and nesting materials.

This little guy was kind enough to sit still on Landon's paper so we could get a picture.

If you look VERY closely, you might be able to see the spiderweb.

Hopefully we will be able to get more pictures in the coming weeks as we learn more about this little world within our world.

We also completed Lesson Two, which was about niches (we are still deciding how we will pronounce it!)

This post is linked to the Nature Journals Round-up at the Schoolhouse Review Crew blog.

Philosophy Adventure


Julie said...

Great idea about the baby powder on the web from the comments. I love your style of nature study! The other day we saw a stick bug, and we were fascinated, as it did look like a leaf with a stem sticking to our house. :)

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