Backyard Biodiversityby: Sarah S. Thompson

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Earth Odyssey is an outreach program for grades four to six developed by a Los Angeles museum. Museum instructors work with classrooms over the course of one month to conduct field observations of living things in the schoolyard and in a local park. Students then compare the rates of biodiversity observed in both areas. The goal of Earth Odyssey is not to fill students’ heads with specific information about plant and animal species, but to teach them the techniques used by scientists in the field and let the students do the rest.

  • Elementary
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Reviews (2)
  • on Sat Nov 01, 2014 11:37 PM

This is a great collection of resources for any science teacher. The collection includes several journal articles that stress the importance of biodiversity to maintain the ecological balance of any ecosystem as well as to maintain the health of any gene pool. It gives ideas for teacher to include biodiversity lessons in their curriculum.

Maria Rodriguez  (Miami, FL)
Maria Rodriguez (Miami, FL)

  • on Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:51 AM

This article describes how, with the assistance of a local expert from a museum, students conducted a comparative biodiversity study of park versus schoolyard. Simple techniques and data sheets are included to help you replicate this activity, even if you don't have a local expert to assist you. The comparative study will generate student questions and hypotheses, as well as improving observation skills and tapping into the natural curiosity students have for living organisms. This activity can be done at any time of year in some regions, but would be better suited to spring or fall in regions where temperatures dip below freezing. Ideas for inquiry questions that students could investigate would strengthen the activities described in the article.

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

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