Lesson Plan #:AELP-ECL001
Submitted by: Jess Lang
Endorsed by: Dr. Don Descy Date: February 1997
Grade Level(s): 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Description: Students will construct an aquatic ecosystem in a two-liter pop bottle. The stock organisms will be: water plants, snails, and fish. Students will record data concerning the observations they make over a four-week period.
Goal: Students will exercise important early scientific skills, like observing, measuring, classifying, communicating data, inferring, and predicting.
Over a four-week period, have the students record daily observations in journals. Suggest certain things for them to be watching for, like plant growth or population changes. Ask for quantitative measurements (exactly how many? exactly what size? how many days?) as well as qualitative (what color? what shape? slow or quick movement?). During the observation period, have students research pond ecology and the organisms involved in the project.
At the end of the observation period, have the students graph the information they’ve obtained through observation. At this time, they should write hypotheses to explain some of the things they’ve seen.
Are the aquaria appropriately stocked? Have they been well-maintained? Are observations recorded at regular intervals? Are graphs drawn correctly? Are hypotheses based in fact?
Information about bottle aquaria taken from Bottle Biology, copyright 1993, by the Bottle Biology Project, University of Wisconsin–Madison.