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Photographical Ecology

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Keywords: photography, nature, ecology
Subject(s): Life Science, Special Needs, Information Skills, Biology, Photography, Service Learning, Science
Grades 6 through 8
School: Springs Valley Cmty Jr Sr HS, French Lick, IN
Planned By: Jessica Roberts
Original Author: Jessica Roberts, French Lick
Goals (and connection to standards):

Students will photograph and understand differences in organisms and the roles they play in our environment.

Standard 1: The Nature of Science and Technology Students design investigations. They use computers and other technology to collect and analyze data; they explain findings and can relate how they conduct investigations to how the scientific enterprise functions as a whole. Students understand that technology has allowed humans to do many things, yet it cannot always provide solutions to our needs.
Standard 2: Scientific Thinking Students use computers and other tools to collect information, calculate, and analyze data. Organize information in simple tables and graphs and identify relationships they reveal. Use tables and graphs as examples of evidence for explanations when writing essays or writing about lab work, fieldwork, etc.
Standard 4: The Living Environment Students recognize that plants and animals obtain energy in different ways, and they can describe some of the internal structures of organisms related to this function. They examine the similarities and differences between humans and other species.

Investigation Question:
Who visits our Garden?

Learner Actions:
Part A, New Experiences:
1. Students will become comfortable using the cameras a changing settings.
2. Students will demonstrate basic camera care.
3. Students will demonstrate basic photographic techniques.
Part B, Predicting:
Students will make predictions on the number and type of plants and animals found in the outdoor classroom/garden.

Part C, Investigation:
1. Students will collect photographs and data on organisms.
2. Students will chart frequency of plants and animals.
3. Students will record behavior of animals.

Part D, Interpreting Evidence:

1. Students will research the organisms using photographs as a way to help correctly identify organisms.

2. Students will collect information on organisms.
3. Students will compare their data collected to the information gathered through research.
4. Students will compile photographs and data and create a field guide for our Outdoor Classroom/Garden.

5. Field Guides will be displayed as books and as Internet webpages.
Teacher's Actions:
Outdoor classroom/Garden area will be utilized for student collection of data.
Teacher Questions:
What organisms can we find in our Outdoor Classroom/Garden?
What are the differences between the different animal visitors?
What are the differences between the plants?
How would we classify the living animals and plants we photograph?
What information can we learn about the plants and animals in our garden?
How can we tell others about the data we have collected?

Part A, New Experiences:

1. Students will be taught the basics of camera operations and photographic techniques.
Part B, Predicting:
1. Students will predict the types and number of organisms found.
Part C, Investigation:

1. Students will enter into the garden equipped with Cameras.
2. Students will take photographs of plants and animals in garden
3. Students will transfer photos onto computers.
4. Students will identify organisms
5. Students will collect information about the organisms

Part D, Interpreting Evidence:
1. Students will understand how gardens are home to a variety of different organisms.
2. Students will understand how the organisms are different and similar to one another and to humans.
3. Students will understand how to organize the data.
4. Students will understand how to present data in the form of a Field Guide.

Activities may be modified for any age group. Data collection can take place in parks or on playgrounds if outdoor classroom/garden areas do not exist.

Cross-Curriculum Ideas
web-page creation, english - journals, field notes, math - population sample sizes, social studies - environments, weather, map reading and locating species
web-site construction and field guide creation
Materials: Mobile Labs, Digital Cameras, Wildlife, Point and Shoot, Video Tools, Camera/Video Accessories, Computer Accessories, Books, Web Page, Slideshow, Animation, Integrating Technology, Hardware Devices