Our newest program is proving quite popular with classroom teachers and has been fully booked for the past two years! We offer this program during the fall and early spring when it is possible to collect macro life from the pond (prior to the weather becoming to cold). This program provides a vital link between freshwater ecosystems and the boundary bay watershed and is particularly well-suited for ecosystems and macro life study in grades 6 and 7 but is appropriate for grades two through seven.
Ponds are fragile habitats and often difficult to safely access. So, rather than taking the class to the pond, we bring the ‘pond’ to you. For the initial presentation, the naturalist engages the class in a powerpoint slide show of macroinvertebrates including some striking dragonfly images and information about the life cycles of a variety of organisms. Following this, some hands-on study of macro-organisms using magnifying glasses and petrie dishes full of pond water takes place. We then set up a small fish tank ‘pond’ for the class to observe over a two-week period, complete with air bubbler and mesh screen to keep the 'critters' comfortable and inside the tank!
Volunteers are needed to help us with pond collection, set up and clean up!
Learning Links and Resources:
Go on a virtual pond dip where students can find information about and view magnified images of the organisms they will find in a pond! There are also printable ‘keys’ to the tiny animals found in ponds and some excellent information about the various habitat layers of a pond. http://www.naturegrid.org.uk/pondexplorer/pondexplorer.html
Here you’ll find some excellent links to both freshwater study as well as other habitats. It includes some printable ID cards and lesson plans. http://www.umaine.edu/umext/earthconnections/activities/28.htm