I based this lesson off a plan on the Smithsonian Education website. I used this activity as the base of our learning. Instead of using a meter square and the worksheets, we used a jump rope and some paper and markers.
To begin our activity, we posed a question. (Well, I did.)
Where is plant life more diverse in Bledsoe Creek State Park? Then we talked about diversity and how it applied to plant life.
Then we each made a hypothesis. Anthony predicted that there would be more plant species where there were lots of deer. Normally, we see tons of deer, but no such luck today. Jerimiah predicted we would find more plants at the bottom of the park, about 50 feet from the lake. Mom agreed with Jerimiah's prediction. Dad predicted we would find more plant species around a tree in the forest.
With our prediction in place, we began exploring. To gather our data, we made a circle with a jump rope in four locations. In each location, the kids and Dad counted the different types of plants in the circle. Anthony recorded the data for us.
The boys making their circle to begin counting the number of plant species.
Making the circle around a tree to test Dad's hypothesis.
Counting at the top of the "mountain" at Bledsoe Creek.
Jerimiah counting the types of plant species at the bottom of the "mountain" near the water.
Anthony diligently recording our data.
So, after all the data was compiled, we made a graph to show our results.
Dad helping to create our chart
It's not a perfect graph, and the spelling is not perfect either. But today we covered several subjects. Our hike covered P.E. We discussed the scientific method and ecosystems for science. We built a graph from a table of data, which made an excellent math lesson. Most importantly, we had a great time.
And nothing makes Dad happier than being right. :)