Learning activities

Mission: Native vs Invasive Shrub Phenology Teacher Resources

Mission: Native vs. Invasive Shrub Phenology investigates the question, "How is climate change affecting the timing of seasonal changes in native and invasive shrubs?"

The attached teacher resources include standards alignment, materials needed, tips for fieldwork, a full unit outline, lesson plans, and a student notebook to support teachers in conducting this investigation with students. Please let us know what you think of these resources by leaving a comment below or contacting us at vitalsigns@gmri.org.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Mission: Vernal Pool Egg Masses Teacher Resources

Mission: Vernal Pool Egg Masses explores the question, "How is climate change impacting reproduction in amphibians that breed in vernal pools?"

The attached teacher resources include standards alignment, materials needed, tips for fieldwork, a full unit outline, lesson plans, and a student notebook to support teachers in conducting this investigation with students. Please let us know what you think of these resources by leaving a comment below or contacting us at vitalsigns@gmri.org.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Mission: Fairy Shrimp Teacher Resources

Mission: Fairy Shrimp explores the question, "What can we find out about the preferred habitat of Fairy Shrimp?"

The attached teacher resources include standards alignment, materials needed, tips for fieldwork, a full unit outline, lesson plans, and a student notebook to support teachers in conducting this investigation with students. Please let us know what you think of these resources by leaving a comment below or contacting us at vitalsigns@gmri.org.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Mission: Crayfish Teacher Resources

Mission: Crayfish explores the questions, "Where are native and invasive crayfish in the northeast? How will their range shift as our climate changes?"

The attached teacher resources include standards alignment, materials needed, tips for fieldwork, a full unit outline, lesson plans, and a student notebook to support teachers in conducting this investigation with students. Please let us know what you think of these resources by leaving a comment or contacting us at vitalsigns@gmri.org.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Mission: Caddisfly Range Teacher Resources

Mission: Caddisfly Range explores the question, "How is climate change affecting the range of caddisfly populations?"

The attached teacher resources include standards alignment, materials needed, tips for fieldwork, a full unit outline, lesson plans, and a student notebook to support teachers in conducting this investigation with students.

Please let us know what you think of these resources by leaving a comment or contacting us at vitalsigns@gmri.org.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Mission: Macroinvertebrate Function Teacher Resources

Mission: Macroinvertebrate Function explores the question, "How active are the benthic macroinvertebrates (BMIs) in Maine's freshwater systems?

The attached teacher resources include standards alignment, materials needed, tips for fieldwork, a full unit outline, lesson plans, and a student notebook to support teachers in conducting this investigation with students.

Please let us know what you think of these resources by leaving a comment or contacting us at vitalsigns@gmri.org.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Oh Deer! Invasive Species and Ecosystem Modeling Game--with Data Analysis!

This lesson expands on the old favorite modeling game, Oh Deer!: Invasive Species Style by adding a data analysis component. Dig deeper by tracking changes in abundance of habitat resources, native, and invasive species over time.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Findings from the Field: A Middle School Journal of Science Research

Now Accepting Submissions for Volume 1!

Findings from the Field is a journal of scientific research produced exclusively by Middle School students. Help us to get this journal off the ground by submitting to the first issue! Participation will elevate student learning through writing about investigations, engage students in a community of student scientists through peer review, and provide an authentic audience for students’ work.

Timeline for Volume 1:
Submit articles for peer review: September 2017 through March 2018

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Independent Ecology Investigation

This full unit of study structures a student-driven learning experience that has students defining a research question, planning a Vital Signs data investigation, analyzing and interpreting their data, and communicating their findings. Students are guided through group activities designed to develop background knowledge in relationships in ecosystems and skills around data collection and analysis. Students extend this work by applying the newly developed skills and concepts to a student-driven investigation which culminates in creating a product to share their results.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Documents

Formal Science Writing and Revision Tools: Results

Representing and describing data are challenging tasks. The tools included here support students in pulling together their results section, including choosing a graph and writing a results narrative. Resources include organizers, handouts to prompt student writing, and peer review forms for a results section of a science article.

Project Information
Grade Level: 
Middle school (grades 6-8)
Resources I used: 
These resources were pulled together by teachers participating in the Vital Signs Next Steps Institute: Launching Maine's First Middle School Journal of Scientific Research.
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