Forest or Field?by: Elaine Silva Mangiante

Journal Article

An open field—with its wildflowers, grasses, and vole tunnels—became an instant classroom. Students’ senses were awakened there, and upon entering a nearby forest, they immediately detected a difference: less light and cooler air. “Why are there no grasses in the forest? Why aren’t there ferns in the field?” These and other questions emerged as fifth-grade students collected and compared data from both a field and forest at a local Audubon Society wildlife refuge.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (1)
  • on Fri Apr 06, 2012 4:52 PM

This article is an excellent example of how to tailor inquiry education in an outdoor setting. The author gives very specific directions and detailed worksheets to help readers conduct their own comparative study between two ecosystems. Although the author had students conduct a variety of tests to examine the differences in biotic and abiotic components of a field and forest, you could adapt the instructions to compare any two types of ecosystems in your area.

Patricia  (Pottstown, PA)
Patricia (Pottstown, PA)

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