2nd Edition

Hands-On Ecology Authentic Learning Experiences That Engage Students in STEM (Grades 2-3)

By Colleen Kessler Copyright 2019
    176 Pages
    by Prufrock Press

    Hands-On Ecology immerses students in the world of real-life ecologists. Through engaging authentic learning experiences, students will explore ecological habitats while building STEM skills. This book is packed with activities that can easily be conducted in the classroom using everyday materials and includes everything teachers need to help students to explore the makeup of their world, including the animals, plants, and organisms that inhabit it. From studying their local ecosystem to exploring environmentalism and ways they can contribute to conservationism, students will not just learn about ecology—they will be ecologists!

    Grades 2-3

    Introduction Chapter 1: Preparing the Essentials Activity 1: An Ecology Dictionary Activity 2: Creating a Field Journal Activity 3: Building an Ecology Tool Kit Activity 4: Interviewing a Naturalist Activity 5: A Day in the Life of an Ecologist Chapter 2: What Is an Ecosystem Activity 6: Providing the Essentials Activity 7: Producing Nature’s Energy Activity 8: Food Web Activity 9: Decomposition Activity 10: Worm Habitat Activity 11: Creating Mini-Ecosystems Chapter 3: A Local Ecosystem Activity 12: Mapping Your Local Activity 13: Ecosystems Within Ecosystems Activity 14: A Square Yard Activity 15: Soil Quality Activity 16: Understanding the Carbon Cycle Activity 17: Water Quality Chapter 4: Studying Populations Activity 18: Animal Populations Activity 19: Plant Populations Activity 20: Adaptations Chapter 5: Human Impact on the Environment Activity 21: Erosion Activity 22: Air Quality Activity 23: Acid Rain Activity 24: Local Water Pollution Activity 25: Global Climate Chapter 6: Making a Contribution to Conservation Activity 26: Earth Day Internet Scavenger Hunt Activity 27: Hosting a Speaker or an Assembly Activity 28: Writing and Performing Activity 29: Tree-Planting Event Activity 30: Launching a Poster Campaign Activity 31: Litter Pick-Up Day Activity 32: Conservation Penny Drive Activity 33: Recycling Project Activity 34: Composting Chapter 7: Creating a Wildlife Garden Activity 35: Making a Contract With Nature Activity 36: Building a Habitat Pile Activity 37: This Place Is for the Birds Activity 38: Bee Boxes and Spider Spaces Appendix: Resources About the Author Next Generation Science Standards Alignment


    Colleen Kessler is an Elementary Gifted Intervention Specialist in Northeast Ohio. She currently teaches second- and third-grade gifted students in Pepper Pike, OH. Kessler earned her bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from Cleveland State University in 1997. She earned a master's degree in Gifted Education from Kent State University in 2002. Kessler believes the best education is fun, motivating, and engaging for students and strives to provide such an environment for her students. She has been teaching for 7 years. Kessler lives in Twinsburg, OH, with her husband and son.