NY Harbor Populations Investigation
In small groups, students become stewards of a number of the small animals their class gathered from the Oyster Research Station (ORS). Students observe and ask questions about these animals.
- Make close observations.
- Identify similarities and differences between organisms.
Materials and Resources
- a set of small invertebrates in a small tank with an aerator
- several Petri dishes
- white paper (taped to desk so animals in petri dish can be seen more easily)
- hand lenses
- sieves or screens
- Note: This activity is a rich source of student questions. Be sure to record your students' questions and add them to your running list. You'll need this list for the students to propose large-scale studies in the upcoming lesson, Propose a NY Harbor Population Study.
- Each group get a tank of small invertebrates and their supplies.
- Groups have access to BOP Species ID Cards and Food Web Cards, but they are not required to use them at this time. As students raise relevant questions, consider directing them toward those resources.
- Students place their invertebrates into the petri dishes in order to observe them closely.
- Students observe, sketch and raise questions about their invertebrates.
- Don't forget to collect student questions!
- Make sure students observe and sketch at least one amphipod! They may observe other invertebrates as well, but don't let them skip over the smallest ones.
- Post student observations and questions.
- If possible, project images of relevant organisms as students talk.