1.113 Western Creeks and Ponds. Family Science Adventure Kit. Tustin, Calif.: Acorn Naturalists, 1991.
Grades: 3-6 Whirligig beetles, water striders, and plankton are among the creatures of interest in Western Creeks and Ponds, an activity kit that centers its explorations on the banks of a freshwater creek or pond. The small, reusable kit contains 6 activity cards, 3 petri dishes, a dip net, a mini-plant-press, a plankton syringe, a combination binoculars/compass, and a field guide to common pond life. The activity cards feature background information on one side and instructions for activities on the other. Sample activities include observing the behavior of whirligig beetles and water striders; experimenting with surface tension; examining leaves for the presence of insect larvae; and studying the body structures of various species of water nymphs.
Price: Kit, $22.95. Publisher/supplier: Acorn Naturalists. Materials : Available locally, from commercial suppliers, or in kit.
1.114 Wetlands. Pamela Hickman. A Publication of the Federation of Ontario Naturalists. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Kids Can Press, 1993.
Grades: 3-6 Through simple reading selections, experiments, and projects, Wetlands introduces students to the varied animal and plant life in a wetland-the place where land and water meet. Students examine wetland mud and peat for small creatures. They investigate the important natural absorption and filtration ability of wetland soils and discover how wetland roots help stop erosion. Students observe the growth of phytoplankton (algae) and zooplankton (tiny floating animals), make plaster casts of animal tracks, and draw a map of a red-winged blackbird's territory. They grow duckweed in different solutions, create mushroom spore prints, and set up an aquarium. Students learn about the habits and life cycles of a variety of wetland wildlife (including ducks, reptiles, frogs, toads, leeches, snails, bats, muskrats, and beavers). The activity book concludes with a simple board game that explains why wetlands are endangered habitats and what can be done to protect them.
Price: $9.95 (ISBN 1-55074-126-8). Publisher/supplier: University of Toronto Press. Materials: Available locally, or from commercial suppliers.
1.115 What Do Plants Need to Grow. Pamela Emery. Sacramento, Calif.: California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, 1993.
Grades: 2-4 Integrating agriculture into the science curriculum is the goal of What Do Plants Need to Grow. Through a series of experiments and activities, students learn that plants are living things that require water, air, light, and nutrients. They examine relationships between plants and other living and nonliving things. Examples of activities include dissecting seeds, examining plants to learn their basic parts, testing the relative growth of plants exposed to different amounts of fertilizer, and observing root systems of radish plants to understand the importance of root hairs.
Each of 13 lessons in the guide includes a statement of purpose, concepts covered, a list of materials, time requirements, background information, and procedures. Most lessons include variations and extension ideas. The book also includes answers to commonly asked questions, lists of additional resources and references, and a glossary.
Price: $6.50. Publisher/supplier: California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom. Materials: Available locally.