Science, level: Elementary
Submitted by S.J.
April 1, 2009
The following can be developed into environmental nature walk activities for grades pre-K - 3
Color of nature - have students graph colors that they see in the woods
Get to know a tree - students are blindfolded, taken to a tree. They are asked to use their sense of touch/smell/hearing to learn all they can about their tree. They are then led back to the central starting point, blindfolds are taken off, and they are asked to find their tree.
Discuss how animals are suited to live in their environment. How they deal with seasons (fur/hibernating, migrating, etc.). Have students build a "mouse house" from materials found in the area. Breaking of sticks is not allowed nor is removing plant material from a living plant. (By the way, a mouse house is about the size of their fist.)
How coloring helps animals - each student is given a white polar bear and a green frog to place in the habitat. Students are then asked to locate all frogs and bears. If your woods is green, the frogs should be the hardest to locate (protective coloration).
How coloration helps animals locate an animal like them. Have each student color two butterflies exactly alike. They place one butterfly on plants or the ground. The second set of butterflies are distributed. Each student must locate the butterfly matching his/hers.
Build a food chain. Each student is given a card with animal/plant/sun in the habitats food chain. Students must not tell what they are, but through questioning place themselves next to something they would need in the food chain.(When I took part in this activity, we used sun, aspen trees, beaver, hare, white tail deer, wolves.) There can be more than one of each member of the chain.
Game time! Animal attributes
Our first graders really enjoyed this attribute game:
Each student thinks of animal to be(they stay this animal through out the game.)
The captain calls out an attribute (four legs, two legs, rainforest dweller, brown fur, etc.) and all animals with four legs try to run to the opposite end of the area. If they are tagged they turn into trees and must stay in place, but are able to tag (without moving feet) for the next call.
On the second and all future calls animals run from both directions---You can keep calling until one animal remains (or some predetermined number) and then start again. Captain calls a new attribute and students try to reach opposite goals for the remainder of the game.