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5th Grade

Bryan Osborne Nature Center (BONA) Living Systems Field Trip

Audience:  5th 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 and 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 on 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 specific environmental conditions to determine the range of tolerance for early growth of seeds and hatching of brine shrimp, and use the 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 four 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. Systems
  2. Nutrient Systems
  3. Transport Systems
  4. Sensory Systems

On this field trip students will tour the biological communities focusing on the Earth's interacting spheres (Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Geosphere, and the Biosphere) and learn about systems in place that keep the Nature Area running.  Students will observe a drop of pond water under magnification and see a world not visible to the naked eye.  Students will participate in a food web scavenger hunt and consider the role of decomposers by analyzing a rotting log.  Students can compare the circulatory systems of plants and animals by looking at leaves and mosquito fish under magnification.  Depending on the season and availability, students will observe the interaction of hawks and squirrels, or tree frogs and speculate how these animals are using their senses to survive.  Time permitting, we will walk to the Farm and talk to the farmer about the science behind locally grown organic foods.