Resources for PreK-8 Activity 48 – Field, Forest, and Stream

In this inquiry-based activity students will conduct a field study of three different environments as they focus on sunlight, soil moisture, temperature, wind, water flow, plants, and animals in each environment. By comparing different environments, students will begin to consider how nonliving elements influence living elements in an ecosystem.

This is one of 96 activities that can be found in PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. To get the activity, attend a training either in person or online and receive PLT’s PreK-8 Guide. Below are some supporting resources for this activity. 

STUDENT PAGES

Download the copyright free student pages that are included with this activity:

Team Chart (PDF)

French: Tableau d'équipe (PDF)

 

Spanish Student Page(s):

Cuadro del Equipo (PDF)

STEM STRATEGIES

Engage students in real-world applications of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education.

Try these STEM Connections for this PLT activity:

FAMILY ACTIVITY

Try a simple variation of this activity to engage children in the outdoors at home. Download this fun and easy-to-do family activity.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:

  • Can Plants Help Slow Soil Erosion?

    This activity from Scientific American called Can Plants Help Slow Soil Erosion? helps students learn how soil erosion causes ecological problems, pollutes waterways, and increases the risk of natural disasters. Students complete an experiment to test the impact of methods to prevent soil erosion.

  • Into the Outdoors: Physical Science Fundamentals

    Into the Outdoors empowers students and inspires critical thinking with over 150 videos! This video on Physical Science called “Ice Caves of Lake Superior” offers students the chance to understand fundamentals of the field. The video brings students inside Northern Wisconsin’s Ice Caves along the shores of the Great Lakes. Students will learn more about when they were formed and how they have evolved over time due to erosion and temperature variations.  

  • Fresh Solutions: Water Use and Conservation

    Videos from California Academy of Sciences explore today’s environmental issues related to water use, from water shortage to waste water recycling. Intended for middle school students, these short videos come with background information for better understanding. You can extend the concepts covered by facilitating a student-led discussion or making connections to the Next Generation Science Standards.

  • Junior Ranger Activity Book

    In 2016, the National Park Service (NPS) celebrated a milestone birthday, 100 years! In celebration of its centennial, NPS created the Centennial Junior Ranger Activity Book. Explore the history of the National Park Service and complete fun activities with this printable book. While this book is geared for 4th grade students, all are welcome to enjoy.

  • Conservation Tales: The Cerulean Warbler

    Have your students learn alongside Alyssa, a young girl who gets to see firsthand how scientific research can help protect endangered and vulnerable species. This Conservation Tales book focuses on the tale of the Cerulean Warbler, a small songbird endangered in Indiana and vulnerable in other states. The book’s author shadowed researchers at a scientific field site to create this book.

  • STEM Teaching Tools

    The University of Washington’s Institute of Science and Math created Practice Briefs.  These free articles highlight ways of working on specific issues that come up during STEM teaching. These briefs helps K-12 educators and administrators stay informed on teaching STEM issues, including STEM issues relating to teaching NGSS and implementing meaningful STEM learning. Each brief is separated into digestible sections and includes recommended actions for educators.

  • Interactive Water Cycle

    The U.S. Geological Survey’s interactive water cycle shows the various stages, actors, and components of the water cycle. There are three different versions of this resource for various ages as well as several languages.

  • Geoscience Career Videos

    The National Ground Water Association (NGWA) has put together two new videos that highlight potential paths for high school students interested in a geoscience career. The first video titled Groundwater Careers includes interviews with college students and professionals who discuss their field work, lab work, and passion for becoming an environmentalist. The second video titled Groundwater is Cool provides important facts, figures, and profound statistics about the world’s groundwater use and thus the need for groundwater professionals.

  • Ecology Food Chart

    This document helps to expand the vocabulary in Field, Forest & Stream. The quest for taking a closer look at interconnections concludes with food chain and food web links.

  • Web Soil Survey from the USDA

    This is a website that contains the web soil survey from the USDA.

  • Soil Explorers

    The Soil Explorers website, sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management, is designed just for kids. Learn about the importance of soil, soil food webs, soil facts, and more. A brief assessment is even included to test soil knowledge.

  • EarthViewer App

    Have you ever wondered what the Earth looked like 400 million years ago? With EarthViewer, a free iPad application, users can explore the Earth’s geologic history. The app tracks the planet’s continental shifts, changes in climate, and explores biodiversity levels over the last 540 million years. Combining visual analysis withe hard data, the app can help students make connections between geological and biological change. 

  • Unlock the Secrets in the Soil

    Check out the collection of infographics from the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service! These infographics colorfully illustrate soil health: what soil is made of, what’s underneath, and what it does. 

  • SoilWeb

    A free app that can be downloaded onto Apple and Andriod devices. A more technical application, SoilWeb allows users to access GPS based, real-time USDA-NRCS soil survey data. Using your geographic location, this app retrieves soil type summaries, including soil series names and image profiles.

  • Encounters: Wild Explorer

    The public radio program Encounters: Radio Experiences in the North explores the natural history of Alaska and the Far North. An accompanying website offers K-12 teachers links to the episodes as well as resources, such as slideshows, videos, and sound clips, introducing the animals and habitats of the regions: beavers, bears, caribou, humpback whales, boreal forests, moose, and others.

  • WildLab Bird

    A free app that can be downloaded onto any Apple device (try iBird Lite for Android). Use WildLab Bird to learn the basics of bird identification. This application uses audio, photographs, maps, and the process of elimination to help identify over 200 bird species. Sightings can also be entered into a national bird watching database for comparison. 

  • AllTrails

    A free app that can be downloaded onto Apple and Android devices. AllTrails helps users to get out and discover the outdoors. Use it to plan a national park visit, find a hiking path near home, or map a new trail of your own! AllTrails can help you find local places to run, hike, bike, fish, and more in the outdoors. You can even upload photos and images to trails you create.

  • Every Kid in a Park – Free Passes for 4th Graders

    Do you teach 4th grade students? Every Kid in a Park is a White House youth initiative to make sure that all 4th grade students and their families get a chance to experience the national parks in their communities. Teachers can visit www.everykidinapark.gov to download passes for your class, and find lesson plans and activity sheets. The Every Kid in a Park website is full of additional resources to help you plan the perfect trip for your students. Plus, check out Project Learning Tree’s suggestions for family activities.