Sunday, May 23, 2010


Ecology is the study of how living and non-living things interact in an ecosystem.  An ecosystem can be a tropical rainforest, it can be the abandoned corner lot or it can be the micro-ecosystem in your backyard.

Materials: 1-yard of string or yarn, knotted in a circle for each Kid Scientist

  • Invite your friends, cousins or brothers & sisters to join you
  • Drop the circle of string somewhere in the yard
  • Lay on your tummy near the micro-ecosystem
  • Observe what is happening in this tiny system...think about what is living and what is not living
  • Stay still for a while, so the creatures in your system move around
  • Compare what you saw with your friends...what is different?  What is the same?
- Big Kid scientists may want to list the living and non-living parts of their micro-ecosystem in their science journal
- Encourage kid scientists to visit their micro-ecosystems several different times to see what changes

For Mom's Eyes Only...
Kid Scientists often have trouble identifying non-living components of an ecosystem.  As they learn more about the world around them, Big Kids may easily identify air or sunlight as non-living.  Little Kids aren't so sure, they don't have a clear "rule" about what is living.  Many Little Kids think that water is living because it moves (they could say the same for wind).  Many kids will have a hard time with things like seeds or leaves off of trees.  Engage your kids in conversation, ask questions and see why they think, what they think. 

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