| In my experience there has been no better way to engage a child's curiosity than to put something in their hand especially when it's a living creature. In this engagement, put Artemia dry cysts in their hands, have them examine them with hand lenses to determine and describe the shape, color, size, texture, smell, etc. of the cysts. Hypothesize about what they are. Review observations as a class and then deliver the punch line; that THEY can make these tiny grains "COME ALIVE"!
- Assessing and enhancing students' background knowledge of aquatic ecosystems
Hands on engagement with a living organism.
- Use a technology based scavenger hunt for background knowledge.
|Horn Point Laboratory Research (powerpoint)
Dehydrated Artemia (brine shrimp) cysts (Brine shrimp can be ordered from most pet stores or from companies such as Brine Shrimp Direct).
Clear two-liter soda bottle for each group
Spring water or other dechlorinated water
Lamp or other light source
Nature video about estuary or marine ecosystems , e.g. Chesapeake: A twilight estuary, from Maryland Sea Grant or your local library may have suggestions
Optional *fast dance music"
List of questions to use in water quality scavenger hunt
Suggested books, web sites, videos, newspaper article etc. for use in student scavenger hunt (see below for list of possible references)
|1. Assess students' current knowledge of estuaries and other marine environments as a starting point and as a basis for later assessment through a class discussion/ outline that charts what the students already know, what they think they know (but aren't sure about), and what they would like to know.
2. Follow this discussion with a nature video about estuarine ecosystems. Revisit chart and discuss any new knowledge.
3. In this engagement, put Artemia dry cysts in their hand, have them examine them with hand lenses to determine and describe the shape, color, size, texture, smell, etc. of the cysts.
4. Hypothesize about what they are.
Review observations as a class and then deliver the punch line; that THEY can make these tiny grains "COME ALIVE"!
5. Here's a procedure on hatching from the web, http://www.sciencenetlinks.com/lessons.cfm?Grade=6-8&BenchmarkID=5&DocID=103
6. Scavenger Hunt for background knowledge
During the two to three days that it takes for the Artemia to hatch have the students conduct a scavenger hunt to find out water quality information.
7. Provide a list of questions such as: "What is salinity? What is pH? When might the pH of the water be lower? What is dissolved oxygen (D.O.)? What might make D.O. change? What is a watershed? What watershed do you live in? What environmental factors effect the organisms in your watershed? Name organisms in your watershed that are effected by these factors. How have these organisms been effected?
8. As an extra incentive the teacher may want to offer prizes to the team that finds out the most information. Inexpensive, fun, scientific toys may be purchased from several vendors including Educational Innovations, Inc., www.teachersource.com
| Science NetLinks:
Brine Shrimp1: Hatching Brine Shrimp
Brine Shrimp Direct
"Brine Shrimp in the Great Salt Lake"
Chesapeake Bay Foundation Save the Bay Education Page
(great site for teacher resources and student projects)
Maryland Sea Grant: Marine Education
Chesapeake Bay Interesting Facts, Great Links and Downloads for Teachers
Chesapeake Bay Ecological Foundation, Inc.
Educational Innovations, Inc.
|1.2.1- The student will identify meaningful, answerable scientific questions.
1.2.3- The student will formulate a working hypothesis.
1.2.5- The student will select appropriate instruments and materials to conduct an investigation.
1.3.1- The student will develop and demonstrate skills in using lab and field equipment to perform investigative techniques.(NTB)
1.4.2- The student will analyze data to make predictions, decisions, or draw conclusions.
1.5.1- The student will demonstrate the ability to summarize data (measurements/observations).
| Lesson Resources