Skip to main content

4th Grade

Bryan Osborn Nature Area (BONA) Environments Field Trip

Audience:  4th Graders

FOSS Environments Summary

The study of the structures and behaviors of organisms and the relationships between one organism and its environment builds knowledge of all organisms.  With this knowledge comes an awareness of limits.  Such knowledge is important because humans can change environments.  The Environments Module has four investigations that focus on the concepts that organisms have structures and behaviors, including sensory receptors, that serve functions in growth, survival and reproduction, and living organisms depend on one another and their environment for their survival and the survival of populations.  Students design investigations to study preferred environments, range of tolerance, and optimum conditions for growth and survival of specific organisms.  They conduct controlled experiments by incrementally changing specific environmental conditions to determine the range of tolerance for early growth of seeds and hatching of brine shrimp, and use these data to develop and use models to understand the impact of changes to the environment.


BONA Outdoor Education Summary

The BONA is an engineered ecosystem consisting of a number of model biological communities and is equipped with data gathering systems such as temperature and dissolved oxygen probes in aquatic habitats, multiple weather stations and wildlife cameras.  Students are able to access information remotely or they can experience and explore, first hand, the complexity of life and how organisms possess observable structures and behaviors aimed at survival, and where they can investigate a great variety of life cycles, reproduction and how species interact with one another and their environment as well as the geological processes.  At the BONA, teachers and their students will apply and expand upon what they have learned in their classroom in a natural setting.  The following two lessons are outdoor based investigations and activities designed to be natural extensions of the FOSS based curriculum that students are doing in their classrooms.  The FOSS activities are:  

  1. Environmental Factors
  2. Ecosystems

This field trip will have students characterize the biological communities by measuring the factors that determine the community.  Students will study leaf litter as an ecosystem and try to construct a food web.  Students will conduct water quality tests of creeks and ponds.  Depending on the season we may also visit the "prairie", observe the food web, and speculate about how the availability of food affects the population.