The purpose of this activity guide is to help students understand their garden as a model watershed through the collection and analysis of rainwater filtration data. This guide serves as an extension to the Nature Works Everywhere How Natural Areas Filter Water lesson plan, which can be found at www.NatureWorksEverywhere.org.
At the end of this mini-unit, students will understand all the ecosystems services and value trees provide to humans every day. Students will know the biological processes of trees and the importance of native trees for providing habitat. Finally, they will acknowledge the significance trees add to our surroundings and be able to share everything they learn with others.
Students will explore plants, including their attributes and growth cycle, over the course of one month or longer. This unit on plants consists of 6 sequenced learning plans. Each activity or learning plan works best with a small group of 4-5 students, in centers, over the course of one week each. Duration of student engagement in tasks will vary, but the recommendation is 20 minutes or less per student.
Students begin with observations of acorns and discuss how to tell if they are healthy and what they need to grow. Students then participate in a drawing activity and lengths and weights of acorns are recorded. Additonal activities allow students to evaluate how environmental factors impact acorn health and ability to grow.