The pond is a place of unbelievable mysteries and wonderings. Hiding in and on the still water of the pond is an unexplored fresh water ecosystem of unique, microscopic, and even comical animal life. Most people do not know that they are there. Each of the animals or plants that the children will encounter here have their own special distinctive characteristics which they have adapted to live in this fresh water environment.
Spring is the time when the pond is beginning to come to life again. The ice has melted and the freshwater invertebrates are beginning their life cycle. The pond plants are beginning to spread across the water. The nymphs of the dragonfly, damselfly, mayfly, and mosquito are emerging. The pond is teeming with life.
Fall is a beautiful time in the pond. The water lilies are in bloom, and the pond skaters can be discovered jumping and skating across the water of the pond. The dragonfly, damselfly, mayfly, mosquito have all matured and flown away, but the pond skaters, the whirligigs, and the water boatman are still here. At our Pond, we study Adaptation and Biodiversity.
From the pond water the children will:
• observe the many moving objects in their sample of pond water — excitement prevails!
• identify the microscopic animals and plants present in their sample of pond water.
• choose an animal or plant to observe and study.
How does it move?
How does it breathe?
What does it eat?
What are its distinctive features ?
Where does it live in the pond?
What “wonderings” do you have?
• design a class pond food chain and a class pond food web.
• compare the contents of the Spring pond to the Fall pond:
What are the differences and similarities?
What are the causes for these occurrences?
• answer questions similar to:
Is there biodiversity in our pond? Show how.
How do invertebrates both give and take away life in this pond ecosystem?
What is the most serious problem endangering fresh water ecosystems? Do you have any ideas that would help?
• perform a choral reading of the poem In the Depths of the Summer Pond from Song of the Water Boatman and Other Poems.
• create an “I Am” poem incorporating research or a presentation describing the adaptations made by your animal or plant.
Examples of adaptation in some of the pond animals and plants:
• Water Strider skates on the surface tension of the water of the pond
• Diving Beetle is an expert swimmer — kicks with large back legs and carries bubbles of air tucked in its legs to be able to breathe under water
• Whirligig beetle whirls in the water by beating its legs at 60 times per second — has two pairs of compound eyes — one pair above the water and another pair below the water
• Duckweed, the tiniest flowers in the world — its roots are not attached to soil, but hang gathering nourishment from the water — it multiplies proficiently