Exploring Ecosystems

Exploring Ecosystems

Class Description

How does a polar bear stay warm in icy waters? How does a bird use its beak to catch a fish? Budding environmental scientists will investigate these unique adaptations as well as food chains, food webs, and other factors that influence organisms in their various habitats. Use of the ProScope Video Microscope and an interactive wetlands model encourages hands-on exploration of our local ecosystem. Requires the assistance of at least four chaperones.

Sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana

Grade Level: 4-5
LINK: Planetarium Program: Dinosaur Passage to Pangaea, and Dynamic Earth
LINK: The River Inside: Photographs by John Guider Art Exhibition

State Standards, Benchmarks, and GLEs

4th Grade

(LS-E-C2) Identify the habitat in which selected organisms would most likely live and explain how specific structures help organisms to survive

(LS-E-A3) Describe how parts of animals’ bodies are related to their functions and survival (e.g., wings/flying, webbed feet/swimming)

(SE-E-A2) Describe and explain food chains/webs and the directional flow of energy in various ecosystems (e.g., construct a model, drawing, diagram, graphic organizer)

(SI-E-A1) Pose questions that can be answered by using students’ own observations, scientific knowledge, and testable scientific investigations

(SI-E-A2) Use observations to design and conduct simple investigations or experiments to answer testable questions

(SI-E-A2) Predict and anticipate possible outcomes

(SI-E-A2) Identify variables to ensure that only one experimental variable is tested at a time

(SI-E-A2) Use a variety of methods and materials and multiple trials to investigate ideas (observe, measure, accurately record data)

(SI-E-A3) Use the five senses to describe observations

5th Grade

(LS-M-C1) Develop and use a simple dichotomous key to classify common plants and animals

(LS-M-C2) Compare food chains and food webs

(LS-M-C3) Compare common traits of organisms within major ecosystems

(LS-M-D1) Describe adaptations of plants and animals that enable them to thrive in local and other natural environments

(SI-M-A1) Generate testable questions about objects, organisms, and events that can be answered through scientific investigation

(SI-M-A2) Design, predict outcomes, and conduct experiments to answer guiding questions

(SI-M-A4)  Use data and information gathered to develop an explanation of experimental results

Exploring Ecosystems vocabulary sheet

Classroom Activities

Don't Teach Your Trash to Swim!

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LASM is fully accredited in accordance with the standards of excellence prescribed by the American Alliance of Museums.

ACGBR-LDAThese programs have been made possible in part through the generous support of the East Baton Rouge City-Parish Government; the members of LASM; the Community Fund for the Arts of Greater Baton Rouge; the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Louisiana State Arts Council; and the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.
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