We'll explore new themes each day, including birds, insects, plants, mammals, ecosystems.
Monday: Birds. We'll see what the shape of their body, wings, beak, and legs tells us about their habitat, diet, and flight. You'll learn to draw and identify birds and have the option to participate in a citizen science bird count.
Research these and write your answers in your sketchbook for tomorrow:
Flightless birds- name all the species of flightless birds still living and where they are found.
Largest flying bird
Highest flying bird
Birds that eats other birds- list all species of birds that eat other birds.
Project: make notes on the birds in your area. Use the chart of silhouettes to determine their diet and habitat. See if you can identify them by their size and shape, the shape of their beak and tail, their colors, the way they fly, and their sound.
We will use the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website together and then you can explore it on your own.
Tuesday: Moths and Butterflies
There are four different stages to their life cycle: egg, caterpillar, pupa, and adult. Some species live for just a few weeks, while others live for years. Females choose the right plants to lay their eggs on- they choose plants that the caterpillars will eat. They lay thousands of eggs at a time, but only a few will survive.
Caterpillars shed their skin as they grow. They have adapted to be camouflaged by the plants they eat so that they will not be seen by the birds, mammals, and other insects that would eat them. They will eventually form a pupa, also called a chrysalis, which is contained within a cocoon. At this point, they undergo massive changes in which they become a butterfly. When this change, or metamorphosis, is over, they will emerge as a butterfly.
It can be hard to tell the difference between the two, but in general:
1) butterflies fly during the day and moths at night
2) Butterflies are more colorful than moths
3) Butterflies rest with their wings held upright, while moths spread theirs out flat.
4) Butterflies have knobs at the top of their antennae and moths have featherlike antennae.
Here you will find butterflies by state:
And here you will find images to identify them:
project: First we will finish our pop-up book of butterflies from yesterday. Then we will sketch beetles and then make small 3D beetles out of paper and glue. After class you will go on a beetle hunt in your yard. You will write notes about their size, color, and patterns and where you saw them (on what plant or tree) and then try to identify them by using this website:
There are at least 300,000 beetle species. They eat plants and animals, dead or alive, and turn these things into valuable nutrients for the soil. They are also eaten by birds, lizards, small mammals, and even humans.
Some beetles are devastating to crops, especially when they are introduced to new regions where their predators do not exist.
Beetles undergo a complete metamorphosis. Their eggs hatch into grubs before pupating and becoming adults.
They have hardened front wings that close over their backs to protect their more delicate hind wings.
The largest known beetle is the Goliath, which can grow up to 6 inches long.
Life cycle of a lady bug:
Thursday: Mapping your local ecosystem
We're going to learn how to identify plants and trees and make a map of the greenery in the yard. Then we'll figure out what species of birds, insects, and mammals they attract.
FRIDAY: Mapping our local ecosystem
Today we'll work on adding information to the map of our yards. We'll try to identify the trees, plants, and grasses and the species they attract.