Get them outside observing biotic and abiotic factors with this fun environmental scavenger hunt lab activity as part of NGSS MS-LS2-2 or 5-LS2 ECOSYSTEMS: Interactions, Energy and Dynamics.
I use this scavenger hunt as an introduction to a unit on ecosystems, food chains and environmental interactions so we refer back to this journal activity by adding text slides to the presentation as we progress through the unit. To complete this fun activity there is an assumption that your students have a general working knowledge of their camera and Google Slides or Powerpoint.
It is important that our students keep an awareness of the environment around them and what better way than to go outside with their devices? The students will create a nature journal illustrated with pictures that they take as they observe. The main concept here is the abiotic and biotic factors working together to create the overall schoolyard ecosystem.
For the abiotic factors the students observe clouds, temperature, the moisture of the area and elements such as the wind blowing or types of rocks. The biotic factors include them looking closely at the components of a tree, searching for seeds and flowers, looking for signs of animals, looking for places were insects have eaten plants, etc. There is also a slide for observing how plants adapt to our man made structures.
Students use their device camera to take photographs of the different observations and insert them in the boxes provided. There are a few places throughout the presentation where they will need to answer questions by inserting a text box. Before you send the presentation to each student you can feel free to delete or add your own slides. This usually takes a 40 to 50 minute period but you could easily make it shorter or longer.
==>Please visit my blog post on how I use this resource in my classroom. Ecosystem Scavenger Hunt for Backyard or Schoolyard