In the past few weeks, we have taken a closer look at Adaptations. We had a great time doing several labs involving birds. In the bird beak lab, students had different “beaks” (tweezers, tongs, cups, bamboo skewers, and binder clips) and ate different “foods” (such as plastic bugs) in various habitats. It’s a great activity that really demonstrates how some beaks are successful in one specific habitat while others are easier to use in multiple habitats. In a second bird activity, “insects” (colored toothpicks) were spread around on the grass and students raced to find them. We discovered that we picked up the most red insects, and that the green and blue insects were gathered in much smaller amounts. In our discussion, we explored the idea of mimicry, where an organism appears to be another organisms that is poisonous or venomous, but is not actually dangerous. We also explored plant adaptations, such as tropisms, and various animal adaptations.
We’ve started a unit on ecology, and we’ll explore food chains, webs, and nutrient cycles in ecosystems. The students are working on an ecology project, which is one of the most popular projects in life science, so keep an eye out for their green background research sheets!