Monday, May 14, 2012

Green Hornets...our new ecology club studies Deer

In case you haven't noticed, I truly am a naturalist.  I enjoy all types of science teaching...but as for myself, I honestly enjoy being outside among nature...looking at plants, animals and the earth.  I am a fan of Jane Goodall because she learned so much by simply watching.

I started a new club at our school for other kids (like me) that I call Green Hornets.  I chose the name because our school mascot is the hornet and green because it is an ecology club.  I thought it would be catchy! 

We are using the theme of forests as our first project.  We have taken the kids into (shocker!) the woods where we looked at the infrastructure of the forest, we identified the types of leaves and trees that grow in our schoolyard and searched for signs of wildlife that may inhabit the area. 

Another day we learned about the white tailed deer.  They are abundant in Virginia and we see them everywhere.

A fun activity that we participated in I got from Suzie Gilly with the Department of Game and Inland fisheries.  She is a great teacher educator who is always present amongst science teachers. 

In this activity we watched a great video clip about the deer before we tried to identify the ages of deers according to the jaw bones.  Suzie has developed a lesson in which you can identify the ages of baby deer to adult deer in very specific and meaningful ways. Students can look at the properties of the bone - the color, thickness, sharp vs. worn-down, and number of teeth to identify age.  Our students felt like they were habitat scientists...a possible job for the future. We also had a nice collection of deer antlers (collected from various hunting parents as well as from Suzie Gilly) to observe in the group.  The students loved touching them and feeling how the gradiation changed from rough to really smooth.

To see the video clip and download the lesson plans - follow this link to learn more about the white tailed deer.

1 comment:

  1. That is so awesome! If you need an extra set of hands for anything before the school year ends, let me know -- I graduated last weekend and have some downtime (and am not too far away). :)