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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Exploring Ecosystems!

This week's class was all about introducing the idea of ecosystems. We learned that an ecosystem is a place that is a home or a habitat for many different animals. Examples of ecosystems include forests, meadows, oceans, ponds, and deserts. After brainstorming different ecosystems and the animals that would live in each, we used different puppets to act out how those animals would interact.
On our hike we visited three different ecosystems at Riverbend including a meadow, forest and a pond and talked about their different physical attributes. The class made some fantastic observations and comparisons. They noticed that the meadow gets lots of sun and is full of tall grasses and flowers while the forest is very shady and has more trees and bushes. We also noticed it was much cooler in the forest than in the meadow. 
We also learned that there are living and non-living things in ecosystems and that animals depend on these non-living things to survive. Water, air, sunlight, soil, and rocks are all non-living things that play an important role in an ecosystem.
At this time of the year, Riverbend's grounds are covered in walnuts from our Black Walnut trees and the kids absolutely love them! So after a delicious snack of homemade granola, we played a couple rounds of "Walnut Bowling".  We then harnessed our artistic powers and cutting skills to work on an ecosystem activity where they cut and sorted animals into their appropriate ecosystem. 
Next week we will begin learning about adaptations- my favorite topic!

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