Lesson Plan

Exploring Ecosystems in the Great Outdoors

The goal of the It’s About Time Phase II Project was to create environmentally focused activities and practical applications that can be taught in the classroom and in the field. Professionals were invited to the Central Algoma Secondary School (CASS) site on three occasions to share their knowledge of the importance of the environmental system in the area.
The environmental information that the professions shared and demonstrated was used to create the resource package for teachers. The three areas of ecology that are included in the teacher package are forestry, soil ecology, and invasive species.

This resource includes:
Forestry Section
A forest walk through guide was prepared for the science teachers. The following resources are included:
1.    Forest Ecology Outline
2.    Forestry Walk Through
3.    Activity – A Walk Through the Forest
4.    Activity – Field Trip to a Forest:
o    Forest Observation Sheet
o    Measuring Tree Height Using A Ratio
o    Different Ways to Measure Tree Trunk Diameter at Breast Height
o    Aging a Conifer Using Whorls

Soil Section
The soils professional focused on both aquatic and woodlot soil study. Several activities were developed to assist teaching the soil component of the curriculum. The product included:
5.    Soil Ecology Outline
6.     Activity: Soil Texture
7.    Activity: Berlese Funnel for Collecting Soil Invertebrates
8.    Activity: Litter Bag
9.    Activity: Particle Size Analysis

Invasive Species
The invasive specialist, the Invasive Species Awareness Coordinator from Algoma University outlined various resources and lesson plans from which a comprehensive PowerPoint presentation was created.

Key Words: Berlese funnel, ecology, ecosystem, forest, invasive species, invertebrates, litter, soil, soil texture, succession, tree, tree age, tree height, tree identification