BCP DRAFT SCI 75

Second Grade - Science - Lesson 34 - Seasonal Cycles and Changes

Objectives

Recall the affect of direct and angled sunlight on the seasons.

Describe some results of warming soil and air in spring.

Predict the changes in buds when twigs are placed in water.

Taste a product of tree sap and describe its making.

Materials

Flashlight

Twigs with buds from various trees and bushes, 12"-24" long

(For example: forsythia, pussy willow, oak, elm, lilac, etc.)

Vase filled with water

Books and pictures of maple sugaring (tapping trees and sugaring off)

A bottle of maple syrup

A ketchup-size paper cup (pill or sample cup) for each student

Suggested Books

Asimov, Isaac. Why Do We Have Different Seasons? Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 1991. An excellent explanation and illustration of the way the tilt and orbit of the earth cause differences in sunlight and seasons.

Berger, Melvin. Seasons. New York: Doubleday, 1990.The section on spring discusses the natural changes warmer weather brings and also describes spring celebrations around the world.

Burns, Diane. Sugaring Season: Making Maple Sugar. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda, 1990.

Lasky, Kathryn. Sugaring Time. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1984. This Newbery Honor Book features black and white photographs of a modern family in Vermont who make maple syrup the old-fashioned way, with metal buckets and horse-drawn sleds. The text is a little advanced, but the photos are informative.

Leslie, Clare Walker. Nature All Year Long. New York: Morrow, 1991. A month-by-month nature journal with beautiful illustrations including signs of spring and detailed illustrations of various types of buds. Because Ms. Leslie writes from Boston, the natural events she describes usually occur one month earlier in Baltimore.

London, Jonathan. The Sugaring Off Party. New York: Dutton, 1995. A French Canadian grandmother tells her grandchild about her first sugaring off party where they boiled maple sap into syrup and poured it over snow for a sweet treat.

Procedure

Remind the children that in the unit on weather, they learned how the sun's rays and the tilt of the earth on its axis give us changing seasons. Ask: What are the names of the seasons? Tell the children that the new unit is about the cycle of seasons and the changes each season brings.

Shine the flashlight at an angle across the blackboard. Tell the children: On winter days, the light from the sun that hits the top half of the earth is spread out like the light on the BCP DRAFT SCI 76

Second Grade - Science - Lesson 34 - Seasonal Cycles and Changes

blackboard. It isn't very strong. Move the flashlight to shine a bit more directly on the

blackboard. Tell the children as spring approaches, the earth moves around the sun so that the rays hitting our part of the earth are stronger. Move the flashlight beam to shine directly on the blackboard so that it makes a round disk of light. Tell the children that during the summer the sun's rays shine strongest on our part of the earth making it warm enough to wear shorts, play in the water and eat popsicles. Move the flashlight back to angle two (springtime) and tell them that right now, as we approach springtime, the sun is not only shining stronger on Baltimore, but each day the sunrise is a few minutes sooner and sunset a few minutes later. Gradually, the days are growing longer and the nights shorter. Since more direct sunlight is hitting our part of the world during these longer days, the soil and the air are getting warmer.

Ask: What do you think happens as the soil gets warmer?(Seeds start to sprout; plants start to grow.) Ask: What do you think happens as the sun's warmer rays heat up the cold air? Remember from our weather unit what happens when heavier warm air touches lighter, cool air? (They push each other and there is wind.) We usually have a lot of windy days in spring. Ask the children: Has anyone ever heard the expression "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb"? What sound does a lion make? (roars) Does it sound like a lion is roaring on a really windy day? In the beginning of March, the wind is strong and cold, sometimes roaring like a lion, but by the end of the month, the wind usually feels warmer and doesn't blow so hard. Maybe the wind sounds like a gentle lamb by the end of the month saying, "Baaaa!"

Tell the children that the extra sunlight in early spring also causes something to happen inside trees. It is a change that is going on right now. Way down in the roots of the trees, water and food that have been stored all winter are moving up to the branches to feed the buds so they will swell up and open.

Walk around the classroom and show the children the tree twigs. Point out the buds. Ask: What do you think are inside the buds? (flowers, leaves) Point out the dark scales that have protected the baby leaves and flowers all winter. Ask: How many buds do you see at the end of this twig? (answer will depend on which varieties you have brought in) Point out the buds on another twig with a different number. Ask: How about at the end of this one? Different kinds of trees and bushes have different arrangements of buds on their twigs. Put the cut twigs in the vase of water. Ask: What do you think will happen if I put the twigs in water and leave them in this warm room? (accept all answers) We'll check on them in a few days and find out what happens.

Tell the children: The water and food mixture that travels up from a tree's roots to its branches is called sap. A long, long time ago before the Pilgrims ever arrived in the New World,

Native Americans discovered that the sap from certain trees, sugar maples, tasted sweet. They made a syrup from the sap to sweeten their food. Ask: Can you guess what we call that sweet syrup? (maple syrup)

Show the children pictures of modern tree tapping and "sugaring off." Read one of the books aloud to them or tell them about the process: In early spring when the days are warming up but the nights are still freezing, sap starts flowing in the sugar maple trees. For some farmers in northern states, this is the beginning of "sugaring time." The farmers drill a hole about 2" deep into the side of a maple tree, then hammer a spout into the hole. Sap slowly drip-drips out, like the drips from a leaky faucet and is collected in a bucket. When the bucket is full, it is taken to the "sugar shack," a small shed where there are big pans over a fire. The clear liquid sap is poured into the pans and boiled so most of the water evaporates as steam. People who work in BCP DRAFT SCI 77

Second Grade - Science - Lesson 34 - Seasonal Cycles and Changes

 

the sugar shack say that by the end of a good day of sugaring off, their eyebrows and eyelashes are sticky with sugar from the steam. What is left in the pans is a golden-brown syrup. It takes one and a half gallons of sap to make just 1 cup of maple syrup. You might tell the children that Vermont is a state famous for its maple syrup and locate it on a map. Pour a small amount of maple syrup into the sample cups and give each of the children a sample to taste.

Ask the children to imagine what it must have been like to be a Native American or a pioneer after a long hard winter. Sugaring time must have been a very happy time. Not only because maple syrup is a delicious sweet treat but also because the sap flowing in the maple trees was a sign that spring was on the way.

Native Americans often gave a name to a full moon, a name that described something about that month. Tribes in the northern states called the full moon of March the Sugar Moon. Another name Native Americans gave to the March full moon was Worm Moon. Ask: Why do you think they called it the Worm Moon? (Accept all answers.) Tell them one reason could be: As the soil warms up in March, earthworms that have spent the winter deep underground curled up together in bunches to stay warm, begin to tunnel up to the surface. Now that the ground is no longer frozen, they can come up to look for food. If you look on the ground you might see small holes and little piles of tiny dirt balls. This is a clue that worms have been around.

Ask the children to brainstorm with you. Make a list of the first signs of spring. Ask the children to help you give each sign a "moon name." Examples: Windy Moon, Sprouting Moon, Budding Moon, Robin Moon, Spring Training Moon, Daffodil Moon, etc.

Share with the children the following poem written by a ten-year-old girl from Vermont. Tell the children that once the maple tree's buds start to open, the sap loses its sweetness and maple sugaring time is over.

The End of Sugaring

I smelled the last smell,

Of the warm sugar air,

And sat with my head in my hands,

In despair.

"Sugaring's over!"

I heard my dad call.

And Gary, the boiler,

Poured in the last draw.

I gazed out the window,

And stared at the land,

At the buckets on maple trees,

All tapped by hand.

Another year?

I have to wait?

I thought this was called,

"The Sugaring State."

Goodbye, goodbye to sugaring,

To tapping all those trees,

To gathering all that sweet water sap,

From the beautiful maple tree.

Sarah Chiappinelli

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Second Grade - Science - Lesson 34 - Seasonal Cycles and Changes

Possible Field Trips

There are two places in the Baltimore area that have tree-tapping and sugaring-off demonstrations for school groups each spring:

Oregon Ridge Nature Center, 13555 Beaver Dam Rd., Cockeysville, MD 887-1815

Irvine Natural Science Center, St. Timothy's School, Stevenson, MD 484-2413.

Optional Activity - Earthworms

Objectives

Observe the movement of earthworms through the soil.

Describe how earthworms benefit plants.

Create a story about life underground as an earthworm.

Materials

(If a teacher demonstration, you will need only one set of these supplies. If the students are going to work in groups of four, you will need a set of these materials for each group.)

Empty soup can

Clear, 2-lb. round plastic deli container (punch air holes in the lid with a pencil)

Soil

A spoon

Piece of black construction paper

Piece of tape

Shredded carrot peel

4-5 earthworms (if you don't want to dig your own, "red wigglers" are available from bait shops)

If you are going on a worm hunt: spade, bucket, newspaper, a teaspoon of dry mustard mixed with two cups of water

Suggested Books

Darling, Lois and Louis. Worms. New York: Morrow, 1982. A bit technical when describing the anatomy of worms, but presents a clear discussion of the benefit of earthworms directly and indirectly in the food chain.

Hess, Lilo. The Amazing Earthworm. New York: Scribners, 1979. Great photographs of worms with cutaways showing what happens underground.

Jennings, Terry. Earthworms. New York: Gloucester Press (A Junior Science Book), 1988. Includes simple well-written text and activities.

Background

This activity is adapted from a project, "earthworm wonderland" in EcoArt by Laurie Carlson (Carlson, Laurie. EcoArt. Charlotte, VT: Williamson Publishing, 1993). The book also contains instructions for making an "ant ranch."

Procedure

Tell the children that gardeners love earthworms. Earthworms make tunnels that leave spaces in the soil. By pushing and sliding through the soil, they plow it up and mix it. This allows air and water to flow through and helps plants to grow. Earthworms also eat and digest BCP DRAFT SCI 79

Second Grade - Science - Lesson 34 - Seasonal Cycles and Changes

leaves, tiny sticks and dead insects. When they defecate or "poop," they leave droppings called castings, full of nutrients that plants can use. There are some animals that make a meal out of earthworms. Ask: What animals eat worms? (birds, such as the robin, moles, shrews, opossums, frogs and toads, fish) If the weather has been warm and there is a suitable spot for digging, take the children out on a worm hunt. Shovelfuls of earth can be spread out on the newspaper so the children can look for earthworms. Pouring a little of the mustard mixture on the ground may also bring the worms to the surface. Tell the children they will be returning the earthworms to this very spot unharmed when they are finished looking at them.

Once the children have had a chance to examine some worms, ask: Why do you think worms are slimy? (so they can slide easily through the dirt) Do you think earthworms breathe air? (Yes, they breathe through their skins.) Ask: Have you ever seen lots of earthworms on the sidewalk after a hard rain? Why do you think they have come out of the soil? Do you think the soil is too wet? Tell the children that the worms must come up to breathe when it is so wet in the ground or they will drown. Ask: Do earthworms have eyes? Ask the children to see if they do. (Earthworms have no eyes.) Tell the children that an earthworm has special cells in its skin that help it sense light but it prefers the dark.

Place the soup can upside down inside the round deli container. (The soup can keeps the worms limited to the outside edges where they can be seen.) Fill up the space around the soup can with soil. Sprinkle the soil with a little water. Add the worms. Sprinkle the top of the soil with a little cornmeal or shredded carrot peel so the worms will have something to eat. Snap on the lid. Tell the children that the worms will need a light shade. Wrap the construction paper sheet loosely around the deli container to form a tube and use the tape to hold it. It should slip easily up and down so that you can peek at the worms.

Tell the children that while the worms are making their tunnels, you would like the children to write a story about what it must be like to be a worm underground on a warm spring day. How does it feel to move? What does the dirt feel like? What are you eating? Do you have any adventures?

While the children are working, move around the classroom with the deli container and let the children peek in on the worms. With any luck, there will be visible tunneling activity. Be careful not to cause any earthquakes in the worm farm.

Have those children who want to share their stories, read them to the class.

Be sure to return the worms to their original homes after you are finished observing them. If you keep them overnight in the worm farm, be sure the soil does not dry out.

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Second Grade - Science - Lesson 35 - Seasonal Cycles and Changes

Objectives

Research and write about the habits of a bird common to Baltimore.

Recognize why spring is a good time for eggs to hatch and baby animals to be born.

Suggested Books

Arnosky, Jim. Crinkleroot's Guide to Knowing the Birds. New York: Bradbury, 1992. Arnosky's engaging character, Crinkleroot, introduces birdwatching. The user-friendly index will direct children to clearly labeled pictures of birds showing the word equivalents of their songs and pictures and information about their nests (cardinal, robin, blue jay, hummingbird and oriole)

Arnosky, Jim. Crinkleroot's 25 Birds Every Child Should Know. New York: Bradbury, 1993. This is really a book of pictures, helpful for children when they are writing descriptions of birds. Blue jay, hummingbird, cardinal and robin are included.

Bull, John and John Farrand. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, Eastern Region. New York: Knopf, 1977. Color photos of the birds are excellent. This field guide gives information on description, voice, habitat and nesting. Tips: The index is not the easiest to use. Look under dove, mourning, and jay, blue. The first number listed is not a page number, but the number of the color plate in the front of the book. The second number is the page where text can be found.

Ehlert, Lois. Feathers For Lunch. New York: Harcourt, 1990. A cat is on the prowl and tries unsuccessfully to catch a variety of birds. The bright, bold illustrations are labeled and several spell out the bird's call. There is a section called "The Lunch That Got Away" in the back of the book that shows each bird and what it eats (includes mourning dove).

Jenkins, Priscilla. A Nest Full of Eggs. New York: HarperCollins, 1995. Highlights nesting of a pair of robins from their arrival in spring and includes other facts about birds and their nesting habits.

Porter, Eliot. Vanishing Songbirds. Boston: Little Brown, 1996. Striking photos of various endangered birds at their nests taken by a world-famous nature photographer.

Stokes, Donald and Lillian. Stokes Field Guide to Birds, Eastern Region. Boston: Little Brown, 1996. Although the index has tiny print, this is the easiest field guide to use. The color photos of the birds are on the same page with the text. Clearly marked headings for identification, feeding, nesting, habitat, voice and other behavior make information easy for children to find. Maps of the U.S. on each page show where birds can be found.

Teacher Resources

Borer, Donald. Songs of Eastern Birds. New York: Dover, 1970 (audio cassette).These tapes are not continuous bird song. Each bird is introduced followed by a few different versions of its song or call.

Walton, Richard. Backyard Birdsong (audio cassette)

For a free catalog of animal sound tapes write to: Crow's Nest Shop, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, Ithaca, NY 14850.

"Birds of Winter". Copycat Magazine. Jan/Feb 1997, p.4. Good illustrations of cardinal, robin, mourning dove and blue jay to color.

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Second Grade - Science - Lesson 35 - Seasonal Cycles and Changes

For a color poster of "Common Feeder Birds" write to Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, P.O. Box 11, Ithaca, NY 14851-0011. Poster is $.50 for educators.

Materials

Picture of hungry baby birds in the nest

Bird journal worksheet (see attached)

Bird song audio tape, optional (see Teacher Resource)

Cassette player, optional

Procedure

Ask the children to examine the twigs placed in the vase from the previous lesson. Ask: What has happened to the buds? (Many have opened or are starting to open.) Why do you think the buds are opening? (Warm room and water have swelled the buds.) What is inside the buds? (flowers and leaves) Tell the children that by bringing the twigs into the warm room and giving them water, you have speeded up what would happen more slowly as spring warmed up outdoors and sap flowed to open the buds. Soon they will see trees outdoors with flowers and leaves.

Write a list on the blackboard: Tongue, Eyes, Fingers, Nose, Ears. Remind the children that last time they learned about sap rising in the trees and how it was boiled to make maple syrup. That is a sign of spring we can taste. Write "sap rises" next to "Tongue." Ask: Can you tell me some signs of spring that we use our eyes to see? (buds opening, plants sprouting, earthworm holes, birds' nests) List answers next to "Eyes." Ask: What are some signs of spring that we use our fingers to touch? (fuzzy buds, pussy willows, soft flower petals, jello-y frogs' eggs, fuzzy caterpillars). Ask: What is a sign of spring that we use our noses to smell? (flowers) Ask: What spring signs can we use our ears to hear? (birds singing, frogs croaking, insects buzzing)

Ask: Do different kinds of birds have different songs? Tell the children that just like the different frog voices in their "Frog Pond in the Springtime" tape, birds have different songs. And just as frogs do, birds sing in the springtime to attract mates. After a pair of birds mate, they pick a place to nest. Then the male bird sings to tell other birds: Stay away, this is our nesting area. If available, play a birdsong tape for a minute or so. (Suggested tapes listed in Teacher Resources are available from the library.)

Tell the children that spring is a busy time for birds. First they must find a good, safe place to build a nest. Then the parent birds have to collect building materials. Different kinds of birds prefer different building materials. Remind the children that they looked at a collection of nestmaking materials--yarn, dryer lint, newspaper, feathers, shredded paper--when they were studying eggs. Birds weave the materials together and then shape the nest. After the eggs have been laid they have to be kept warm. Then once the eggs have hatched, the parent birds care for their babies.

Ask: Have you ever seen a robin poke around in the grass or leaves and come up with a big fat worm in its mouth? Tell the children that robins eat lots of worms, but in the spring they must collect LOTS of worms to feed their hungry nestlings. Tell the children you are going to read them a poem about busy robin parents. Show the children a picture of baby birds in the nest with their mouths wide open.

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Second Grade - Science - Lesson 35 - Seasonal Cycles and Changes

Me First!

Yelp and swallow,

Swallow and yelp,

Ma and Pa Robin

Could use some help.

It's feed number one,

Number two, three, four;

It's me first, me first,

More, more, more!

It's whiz to the garden,

Whiz to the tree;

It's me first, me first,

Me, me, me!

 

Beverly McLoughland

from Ranger Rick Magazine

Tell the children that they are going to do some detective work today. You are going to divide them into teams. Write the names of the teams on the board: Cardinals, Blue Jays, Orioles, Robins, Hummingbirds and Mourning Doves. Tell the children they are going to track down some bird facts on their team's bird. They will be using books and field guides--the same guides that are used by birdwatchers and scientists when they are out in the woods or fields or rainforest trying to spot birds. Tell the children they will be looking for a picture of their bird so they can write a description. They will be looking for facts about their bird's nest and eggs. They will want to know what their bird eats. Finally, they will look for a description of their bird's voice or song. Hand out the bird fact worksheets and the bird field guides. Help the children to find their birds in the index of the field guides. When the children have completed their research, have a member of each group share the findings while another shows the other children a picture of their bird.

Remind the children that in the life cycles unit they learned a lot about eggs. Ask: Can you name some creatures that hatch from eggs? Brainstorm with the class and write a list on the blackboard. (chickens, robins and other birds, frogs, caterpillars, ladybugs, snakes, turtles) Tell the children that spring is a time when eggs hatch and baby animals are born. Ask: Why do you think that spring is a good time for babies to hatch or be born? (They have time to grow before winter comes; it is warmer; there is food to feed them.)

Refer to the list on the board. Ask: What do these babies need to eat? What do caterpillars eat? (leaves) Are there leaves to eat in springtime? (Yes, sprouting plants put out young fresh leaves in spring.) Ask: What do ladybug larvae eat? (aphids) Are there aphids around in the springtime? (Yes, they are feeding on all the fresh leaves.) What do tadpoles eat? (They nibble on water plants.) Are there water plants in spring? (Yes, they are sprouting and growing just like plants in soil.)

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Second Grade - Science - Lesson 35 - Seasonal Cycles and Changes

Tell the children that rabbits, raccoons, deer and many other animals have babies in the spring. Baby mammals get milk from their mothers when they are very young, but before long must find food just like their parents. In the spring and summer, there is plenty of green grass and weeds for fawns (deer babies) and baby rabbits to eat. Young raccoons can find plenty of frogs and grasshoppers to eat. Bird parents can find lots of worms or caterpillars or beetles to feed their young.

Suggested Homework

Keep an eye out for birds on your way to or from school or in your neighborhood. See if you can identify the kind of bird. Also keep an eye out for last year's empty birds' nests.





BCP DRAFT SCI 85

Second Grade - Science - Lesson 36 - Seasonal Cycles and Changes

Adapted from Sharing Nature with Children by Joseph Cornell, p.56.

Objective

Create a food web for a meadow in summer.

Materials

Ball of string or yarn, 200 ft.

Cards with the names of plants or animals and what they eat (see attached sheet). Duplicate as many sheets as needed so that each child in the class will have one card. Sheets can be glued on heavy paper and then cut apart into cards.

 

Suggested Books

Berger, Melvin. Seasons. New York: Doubleday, 1990. The summer section of this book contains a review of the parts of the flower from the life cycles unit, information on the life cycle of the housefly, and also a good explanation of what causes lightning and thunder during a summer thunderstorm.

Cornell, Joseph. Sharing Nature with Children. Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publications, 1979.

Jacobs, Leland (ed.). Poetry for Summer. Champaign, IL: Gerrard, 1970.

McCauley, Jane. Animals in Summer. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1988. Outstanding photos of insects and animals in various habitats during summer months.

Ryder, Joanne. Mockingbird Morning. New York: Macmillan, 1989. An early summer morning walk in the country invites the reader to see "Bees in fat fuzzy suits wander like astronauts from moon to moon...".

Zolotow, Charlotte. Summer Is... New York: Crowell, 1967. A poem that associates the season with sights, sounds and smells.

Procedure

Ask the class if they remember the book you read them called The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Ask: In the book, what did the caterpillar do before he made his cocoon? (ate and ate and ate) He ate and he grew and he ate some more until he was a big fat caterpillar. Caterpillars eat and grow during the summer when there are plenty of green plants for them to munch on. In summer, when the days are long, plants get lots of sunlight. They grow leaves and flowers and send up new shoots. When plants are growing, plant eaters are busy eating. Ask the children to help you name some animals besides caterpillars that eat plants. Remind them that plant eaters include leaf eaters, nectar eaters, root eaters and fruit eaters.

Tell the children: Today we are going to pretend that it is summertime in our classroom. Ask: What is the weather like in summer? (hot, humid, sometimes thunderstorms) Pretend with the class that the sun in the classroom is hot (Phew! It's so hot, you could fry an egg on the sidewalk. It's so hot, dogs are panting in the shade. It's so hot I just want to stand in the sprinkler or rub ice cubes on my face.) Invite students to finish the sentence "It's so hot..."

Once the children are in the spirit of pretending, tell them that not only is it summertime, but the classroom has magically changed. It has changed into a big, open meadow with tall grasses.Yellow, pink and blue flowers are poking up between the grasses and honeybees are buzzing around them. The sky overhead is bright blue with a few fluffy clouds. Point to a

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Second Grade - Science - Lesson 36 - Seasonal Cycles and Changes

corner: Just over there is a small pond with marsh grass and cattails growing. We can hear the frogs croaking and see some turtles sunning themselves on a rock. And each of you has changed, too. Each of you has changed into a plant or animal in the meadow.

Allow each child to select a card from a stack you hold to see what new form he or she has taken. Ask the children to stand in a circle. If you have made duplicate cards, ask the children to see if they can find their partners and stand together. Tell them that just like meadows everywhere, in this meadow animals and plants depend on each other.

Give the child who holds the soil card a ball of string. Ask: Which of you lives underground, in the soil? (earthworm) Have soil hold onto the end of the string. Unwind the

string so that wherever earthworm(s) is standing in the circle, he or she (or they) can hold onto it. Ask: What animal eats earthworms for lunch? (robin) While earthworm holds onto it, unwind the string so robin(s) can hold it. Ask the child who holds the robin card: What else does robin eat? (blackberries) Unwind the string to connect blackberry bush. Ask: Who nibbles on blackberry leaves? (rabbit) Pass the ball of string to rabbit. Ask: Is there an animal that eats rabbits? (red fox) Unwind and pass the string to red fox. Ask: What else does red fox eat? (mice) Pass the string to white-footed mouse. Ask: What do white-footed mouse and her growing children eat? (sunflower seeds) Pass the string to sunflower. Ask: Is there anyone in the meadow who munches on sunflower leaves? (caterpillar) Pass the string to caterpillar. Ask: What amphibian catches caterpillars on a sticky tongue? (frog) Unwind and pass the string to frog. Ask: What meadow creature eats frogs? (snake) Pass to snake. What sharp-eyed bird is looking for a snake for lunch? (hawk) Pass the string to hawk. Ask: What else do hawks eat? (birds, like the robin and redwing blackbird) Pass the string to the redwing blackbird. What does the redwing blackbird eat? (grasshoppers) Pass to grasshopper. What do grasshoppers eat? (plant leaves such as clover) Pass the string to clover. Ask: What do all plants need? (soil, sun, water and air) Pass the string back to soil.

Ask the children to look at the web they have created. Tell them that their meadow is a web of connections between soil, plants, animals and insects. Ask one of the children to give a small tug on the string. Ask: Did you all feel it? What would happen if blackberry bush, sunflower and clover let go of the string? Have them let go. Ask: What would happen to the insects and animals that eat plants if the plants in the meadow died? (They would have to find another meadow or starve.) Ask all the plant eaters to drop the string. Ask: If the plant eaters were gone, what would happen to the animals that eat the plant eaters like the fox? (They would have to find food somewhere else or starve.) Tell them that thanks to longer days of sunlight in summer, plants in their meadow are growing and animals can find plenty of food. Have the children sit down and drop the web.

Tell the children: Here we are in our meadow on a hot summer day. Ask: Do you think the meadow is a quiet place? Close your eyes and listen to the sounds of our meadow. Do you hear the buzzzz of bees? Do you hear birds singing? What other sounds do you hear? (rustling of mice, croaking frogs, hawk cries, crickets, flutter of wings) Have the children open their eyes. Share the following poem.

Summertime

Summertime

Is full of peepers,

Croakers, whistlers,

Cooers, cheepers,

Summertime

Is full of hoppers,

Flyers, scurriers,

And poppers,

Summertime

Is full of lightness,

Yellows, pinks,

And blues, and whiteness.

 

Summertime

Is full of glistens--

Full of looks

And full of listens.

Lee Blair

from Poetry for Summer, L. Jacobs, ed.



Optional Activity

Have the children create pictures of their meadow. Suggest that they include some of the plants and animals from the food web.

Additional Background

Other plants and animals can be added to the food web activity. The game can also be played in a more open-ended way, if you feel confident the class can come up with connections that will include all the children.



BCP DRAFT SCI 90

Second Grade - Science - Lesson 37 - Seasonal Cycles and Changes

Objectives

Describe migration of birds, whales and butterflies.

Observe ways seeds can travel.

Create an autumn "to-do" list for an animal.

Materials

Map of western hemisphere

Glass bowl full of water, small floating toy

Rubber band and 8 pompons

Parachute handkerchief

Six looped pieces of masking tape.

Packets of flower seeds, one for each child

Suggested Books

Fisher, Aileen. Now That Days Are Colder. Glendale, CA: Bowmar, 1973. A poem of coming winter with good illustrations of milkweed seed parachutes and maple seeds.

Helldorfer, M.C. Gather Up, Gather In, A Book of Seasons. New York: Viking, 1994. This poetic cycle through the seasons begins with autumn gathering.

Hirschi, Ron. Fall. New York: Dutton, 1991. The signs of autumn are portrayed in lyrical text and stunning photographs. One photo of deer in a meadow might suggest the meadow the children imagined in Lesson 36 captured in this other season.

Hunter, Anne. Possum's Harvest Moon. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996. When Possum tries to persuade other animals to come to his Harvest Moon party, they are too busy preparing for winter. "Oh, I would, I would," growled Raccoon, "but I must be good and fat for the long winter. So much to eat, so little time." Story, illustrations, and the idea of the named full moon referred to in Lesson 34 make this an ideal read aloud book for this lesson.

Lewis, Tracey. Where Do All the Birds Go? New York: Dutton, 1987. Simple text and crayon- scratch illustrations describe where birds, fish, mice, squirrels and others go in winter.

Simon, Seymour. Autumn Across America. New York: Hyperion, 1993. The photographs of fall color are striking. Close-ups of insects and milkweed seeds are excellent. Text is advanced but would be helpful as a teacher resource

Tresselt, Alvin. Johnny Maple-Leaf. New York, Lothrop, 1948. Classic story of change of seasons from a leaf's point of view. Presents a variety of animals and birds.

Procedure

Write the words travel and gather on the board.

Tell the children that in autumn, the earth's orbit slowly moves our part of the earth out of the direct rays of the sun. Each day the sun sets a little bit sooner and comes up a few minutes later. The hours of sunlight get shorter. The shorter days are a signal to plants and animals that it is time to prepare for winter.

Ask: Do you remember the poem we read last fall called "Something Told the Wild Geese?" (Poetry Lesson 5) Wild geese and many other kinds of birds migrate in autumn. Ask: What does migrate mean? (to travel from one region to another) Ask: Why do you think it would BCP DRAFT SCI 91

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be a good idea for birds, for instance hummingbirds that eat flower nectar or robins that eat worms and fruit, to migrate south where it is warmer? (In a warmer place they can find food.)

On a map of the western hemisphere, show the children Central and South America. Tell them that because of the tilt of the earth on its axis, while we are having autumn, the southern part of the world is having spring. Point out how long a journey it is for birds to make. Some kinds of birds fly 3,000 miles to their winter homes in South America. Little hummingbirds fly 500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico to their winter homes. Their little wings flap the whole time without stopping because there is nowhere to land and rest over the water.

For birds that were born here in the spring and early summer, it will be their first long flight. Birds tend to get together in groups or flocks to migrate. Ask: Why do you think birds gather and travel together? (It is safer to travel in a group.) Tell the children that hawks have trouble picking out one bird in a flock to attack. It is confusing for them. Also traveling in a flock, young birds who have never migrated before may learn where to go.

Ask: Are there other animals besides birds that migrate in autumn? (whales, monarch butterflies) Some kinds of whales spend the summer in cold water near Alaska and then swim down to the warm waters around Mexico to spend the winter. Ask a child to come up and locate Alaska and Mexico on the map. Tell the children that monarch butterflies that hatched out of their eggs in midsummer gather together in groups. Some fly to Florida, some to California and some to Mexico. Ask another child to come up and locate Florida, California and Mexico on the map. Tell the children that 100,000,000 monarch butterflies migrate each year. Write the number on the board and ask the children to count the number of zeros. Ask: If all those butterflies hatched in midsummer as caterpillars and changed into butterflies in the late summer, none of them have ever been to Florida, California or Mexico. How do they know where to go? (Accept all answers.) It is a mystery. Scientists don't know; they are trying to find out. The monarchs return to the same places every autumn.

Tell the children that you have another mystery for them. There are other things that travel in autumn. They don't travel as far as birds or whales or butterflies. You are going to call these mystery things "the VWXYZ things." Tell the children that you will give them some clues about how these mystery things travel, and when you are all finished with the clues, they can try to guess the identity of the VWXYZ things.

Float the toy in the bowl of water. Tell the children that V-things are floaters, they travel on currents of water. With the rubber band, shoot a few pompons across the room. Tell the children that W-things are shooters; they travel like shots from a cannon. Stick the taped pompons to your sleeves. Tell the children that X-things are hitchhikers. They hitch a ride on other animals. Throw the handkerchief parachute. Tell the children that Z things are flyers. They travel by helicopter or parachute. Tell the children that you will give them one more clue. These mystery traveling things have tiny roots and shoots inside ready to sprout in the spring. (seeds)

Have the children call out together the identity of the mystery travelers. Hand out the packets of seeds as "prizes."

Tell the children that autumn is a time for travel for some, but for others it is a time of gathering. There are animals that do not migrate but spend the winter here. For example, squirrels collect acorns and nuts and bury them. When winter comes, they will dig them up and have something to eat. Chipmunks do the same thing. They gather seeds and store them in their BCP DRAFT SCI 92

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burrows for the long winter. Bears and groundhogs eat and eat until they are fat. Then they live off the fat all winter. They can do it because they curl up in a sheltered place, slow down their

breathing and heartbeats and go into a deep sleep called hibernation.

Ask: What do you think happens to insects in winter? Many of them die after they lay their eggs. Their eggs will hatch in the spring. Other insects such as beetles, woolybear caterpillars and ladybugs crawl under bark or wiggle into tight places to rest all winter. Ask: What about fish and frogs? Where do they go as the weather gets colder in autumn? (to deep water where it is warmer or burrow into the mud at the bottom of a pond)

Read Possum's Harvest Moon or Gather Up, Gather In or Now That Days Are Colder to the class.

Tell the children: Imagine you are an animal, one that travels or one that gathers. What would you need to do to get ready for winter? Ask the children to write the name of their animal on the top of an autumn "To Do" list. Then list the things they would need to do to get ready for cold weather.

Possible Homework

Have the students plant their seeds in containers at home following the packet directions. Suggest that they keep a plant journal: record the day and way they planted the seeds and include day-by-day observations on its progress.



BCP DRAFT SCI 93

Second Grade - Science - Lesson 38 - Seasonal Cycles and Changes

Objectives

Identify some animals that hibernate.

Describe some ways animals keep warm in winter.

Compare and identify tracks of some animals active in winter.

Materials

Paper, crayon

Animal track worksheet (see attached)

Suggested Books

Arnosky, Jim. Crinkleroot's Book of Animal Tracking. New York: Bradbury, 1979. Crinkleroot describes the signs that tell him what has happened in the forest while he wasn't there. Great chart of animal tracks in the back.

Busch, Phyllis. The Seven Sleepers: The Story of Hibernation. New York: Macmillan, 1985. Contains clearly written chapters on migration and hibernation as well as one on animals that remain active all winter.

Brimner, Larry Dane. Animals That Hibernate. New York: Franklin Watts, 1991. An indepth look at deep-sleeping and light-sleeping animals. Text is a bit advanced, but information is excellent and photos of animals are good.

Fisher, Ron. Animals in Winter. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1982. Photographs are stunning. Many of the animals are from the western U.S.

Riha, Susanne. Animals in Winter. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda, 1989. Beautiful illustration is the highlight of this book. The narrative tone is appealing, however, the fact that the animals are European and unfamiliar is a drawback.

Smith, William Jay and Carol Ra (eds.). The Sun Is Up, A Child's Year of Poems. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mill Press, 1996.

Teacher Resources

Binderup, Denise. "Six Slick Tricks for Keeping Warm." Washington, D.C.: Ranger Rick Magazine, December, 1996, p.14. Brief descriptions of ways animals (and people) cope with the cold.

Miller, Dorcas. Track Finder: A Guide to Mammal Tracks of Eastern North America. Berkeley, CA: Nature Study Guild, 1981. This is a tiny pocket field guide with illustrations of various animal tracks and examples of walking styles. Other books in the inexpensive pocket field guide series include Flower Finder and Tree Finder. Catalog is available from Nature Study Guild, Box 972, Berkeley, CA 94701.

Prescott, Lyle. "Whose Track Is That?". Washington, D.C.: Ranger Rick Magazine, January, 1997, p. 28. Six clues for identifying animals tracks.

Procedure

Ask (rhetorically): What would it be like to sleep all winter long and wake up in the spring? Suppose you were a groundhog. Suppose when the days got colder in autumn, you used your claws to dig a long, deep tunnel in the ground. You dig the tunnel very deep so that when BCP DRAFT SCI 94

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the top of the ground freezes, you will be underneath where it is warmer. You line your burrow with dried leaves and grass. Then one day, you crawl far back into your tunnel. You push dirt up behind you to block the way so no one can get in. Then you roll yourself into a ball and settle in for a long snooze.

First your breathing slows down--slower and slower, until you are taking only one breath every five minutes.Your heart beat slows, too. Instead of beating ba-bump, ba-bump, 80 times every minute, it goes ba-bump only four times a minute. Your body temperature drops and your body gets cold. Your blood is just above the point of freezing. With your eyes shut, all curled up, you drift into a deep sleep. You are hibernating. You'll dream away the whole winter in your burrow.

Ask: Why do you think some animals hibernate in winter? (It is hard to find food.) Tell the children that in winter, trees have no leaves. The sap stops flowing to the leaves in autumn and they change color and fall to the ground. Grasses stop growing and die back. There are only a few late berries, and some seeds left to eat. The insects have all died or are hiding way down underground or under tree bark. Many birds have migrated south. Finding food is hard in the winter.

Write "Winter Snoozers" on the board. Ask: Can you name some animals that take long winter snoozes? Make a list. (Bears, bats, groundhogs or woodchucks, chipmunks, skunks, raccoons, woolybear caterpillars, ladybugs, garter snakes) Tell the children that some animals sleep through the whole, long winter, while others wake up from time to time for a small snack, and then go back to sleep again. Sleeping during the winter is a survival strategy--a way to survive. Migration is also a survival strategy. Birds and monarch butterflies cope with winter by flying to a warmer place.

Ask: What about animals that don't migrate and don't hibernate? How do they keep warm? What do you do when you go outside in winter? (wear a warm coat) Animals such as deer and fox and rabbit grow an extra layer of fur. The extra layer traps the heat close to the animal's body and doesn't let it out so the animal stays warm. Ask: Have you every heard of a down jacket? They are warm, puffy coats people wear that are stuffed with soft goose feathers called down. Birds that stay here in winter have soft underneath feathers, too. When it is very cold, they puff up the feathers. The heat of their bodies is trapped in just as it is under fur coats and keeps the birds warm.

Tell the children that another way to keep warm is to snuggle. Animals snuggle, too. Ladybugs, snakes, flying squirrels and mice are snugglers. They snuggle together in groups to stay warm. Bees are snugglers. During the winter, they huddle together in the hive, eat the honey they have stored and exercise their wing muscles. The energy they all spend exercising, creates heat to keep the hive warm. Invite the children to stand up and try an experiment to see if like bees, they can make heat. Say: We don't have wings, but we do have legs. Let's huddle together like bees and exercise our legs. Let's see if it makes heat.

Have the children stand shoulder-to-shoulder in two circles, one inside the other, but at a safe distance apart so they can run in place without kicking the children in front of them. Ask the children to run in place; stop them after about 30 seconds. Ask: Did it make heat? Do we feel warmer? (Most will probably say yes.)

While the children are standing, ask one child to come forward and put his or her foot on BCP DRAFT SCI 95

Second Grade - Science - Lesson 38 - Seasonal Cycles and Changes

a sheet of paper. Trace the outline of the foot with crayon, and show the outline to the class. Ask: Suppose I was out on a winter's day and I saw a lot of footprints like this one in the snow. Suppose I followed them and they went across the street, up the steps and ended at the front door of a house. Think like a detective: What are the footprints telling me? (that the boy or girl had walked across the street, up the steps and into the house.) Tell the children to keep thinking like detectives. Tell them to step back and carefully watch the feet of a selected child. Have the child demonstrate hopping with two feet. Ask: What would the footprints he or she made look like now? (They would be next to each other.) Draw a facsimile on the board and label it hopping.

(: : : : ) Have the child walk slowly. Ask: What would his or her footprints look like now? Draw a facsimile on the board and label it walking. (',',',',). Have another child demonstrate hopping and walking so the children can see how the arrangement of footprints would change. Have the children sit down in their seats.

Draw a set of parallel bird tracks on the board. Ask: What animal do you think would make tracks that look like this? (bird) Ask: Was this bird hopping or walking? (hopping) Tracks like these might be made by a blue jay hopping around a bird feeder. Draw another set of bird tracks a little bigger alternating in the walking style. Ask: Was this bird hopping? (No, it was walking) Tell the children that tracks like these were probably made by a crow because crows often walk instead of hop.

Distribute the animal tracks worksheet. Tell the children that these tracks in the snow are clues to what animals have been out looking for food. Ask them to look carefully at the tracks and see if they can match the track to the animal that made it. Clues to look for are the shape of the print, how many toes the animal has, how big the print is, and whether there are claws on the toes.

When the children have finished their worksheets, draw a circle on the board with spring, summer, winter and fall at the cardinal points. Write the words resting and waiting next to winter. Tell the children that in winter many animals are resting. Trees are resting. Plants are resting. Seeds are waiting in the soil. Insect eggs are waiting. Ask: What happens in the spring? (Sap rises, sprouting, hatching) Write sprouting and hatching next to spring. Ask: What happens in the summer? (hot weather, growing plants, growing animals) Write growing next to summer. Ask: What happens in the fall? (leaves fall, birds migrate, fruits and seeds ripen, animals prepare for winter, farmers harvest crops) Write migrating and harvesting next to fall. Tell the children that time takes us through the cycle of the seasons. Ask: What season are we moving toward now? All around us there are signs of spring. Tell the children you are going to read them a very short poem about a day in the month of March.

 

March

A blue day,

a blue jay

and a good beginning.

One crow,

melting snow--

spring's winning!

 

Elizabeth Coatsworth

from The Sun is Up, A Child's Year of Poems

BCP DRAFT SCI 96

Second Grade - Science - Seasonal Cycles and Changes

Suggested Books for Unit

Read Aloud

Arnosky, Jim. Crinkleroot's Book of Animal Tracking. New York: Bradbury, 1979.

*Arnosky, Jim. Crinkleroot's Guide to Knowing the Birds. New York: Bradbury, 1992.

*Ehlert, Lois. Feathers For Lunch. New York: Harcourt, 1990.

Ehlert, Lois. Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf. New York: Harcourt, 1991.

Fisher, Aileen. Now That Days Are Colder. Glendale, CA: Bowmar, 1973.

George, Jean Craighead. Dear Rebecca, Winter is Here. New York: HarperCollins, 1993.

*Hunter, Anne. Possum's Harvest Moon. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1996.

*Helldorfer, M.C. Gather Up, Gather In, A Book of Seasons. New York: Viking, 1994.

Hirschi, Ron. Fall. New York: Dutton, 1991.

Jacobs, Leland (ed.). Poetry for Summer. Champaign, IL: Gerrard, 1970.

Jenkins, Priscilla. A Nest Full of Eggs. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.

Kuskin, Karla. The Bear Who Saw the Spring. New York: Harper & Row, 1961.

*Lewis, Tracey. Where Do All the Birds Go? New York: Dutton, 1987.

London, Jonathan. The Sugaring Off Party. New York: Dutton, 1995.

Pluckrose, Henry. Changing Seasons. Chicago: Childrens Press, 1994.

Ryder, Joanne. Mockingbird Morning. New York: Macmillan, 1989.

Smith, William Jay and Carol Ra (eds.). The Sun Is Up, A Child's Year of Poems. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mill Press, 1996.

Tresselt, Alvin. Johnny Maple-Leaf. New York, Lothrop, 1948.

*Zolotow, Charlotte. Summer Is... New York: Crowell, 1967.

Reference

Arnosky, Jim. Crinkleroot's 25 Birds Every Child Should Know. New York: Bradbury, 1993. Asimov, Isaac. Why Do We Have Different Seasons? Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens, 1991.

Berger, Melvin. Seasons. New York: Doubleday, 1990.

Brimner, Larry Dane. Animals That Hibernate. New York: Franklin Watts, 1991.

Bull, John and John Farrand. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds, Eastern Region. New York: Knopf, 1977.

Burns, Diane. Sugaring Season: Making Maple Sugar. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda, 1990.

Busch, Phyllis. The Seven Sleepers: The Story of Hibernation. New York: Macmillan, 1985.

Cornell, Joseph. Sharing Nature with Children. Nevada City, CA: Dawn Publications, 1979.

Fisher, Ron. Animals in Winter. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1982.

*Lasky, Kathryn. Sugaring Time. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1984.

Leslie, Clare Walker. Nature All Year Long. New York: Morrow, 1991.

McCauley, Jane. Animals in Summer. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 1988. Porter, Eliot. Vanishing Songbirds. Boston: Little Brown, 1996.

Riha, Susanne. Animals in Winter. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda, 1989.

Simon, Seymour. Autumn Across America. New York: Hyperion, 1993.

*Stokes, Donald and Lillian. Stokes Field Guide to Birds, Eastern Region. Boston: Little Brown, 1996.

*Required or strongly recommended for use with the lessons.