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					                           The Mulch Mystery!
                                            Designed by Candace Banners
                                                             Designed by …


        Description: This unit describes a 4th grade class experiment that was originally set up
as a “Mystery” that the school of Clover Ridge Elementary would like to solve. There are non-
native grasses growing in the Clover Ridge Wildlife Area (CRWA). The “Mystery” was to try
and find out what the best method would be to get rid of the non-native grass so the school can
plant native plants and encourage native wildlife. This experiment involved testing different
“mulch” treatments, and using data collected to find the most successful treatment, which would
ultimately be used by the school to get rid of the non-native grasses. At the end of the
experiment the class presented their findings in a scientific poster format; this poster was taken
to the Linn-Benton 4-H Wildlife Stewards Summit and presented by four members of the class,
where it received a blue ribbon.


       Student Outcomes/Objectives

       •   Students will be able to make detailed observations about non-native and native
           grasses.
       •   Students will be able to define reasonable policies that they will be expected to follow
           while working in the CRWA.
       •   Students will be able to list, in small groups, two treatments that have been used in
           the CRWA to control non-native grass.
       •   Students will be able to participate in a class brainstorm of possible methods to get rid
           of the non-native grass in the CRWA.
       •   Students will be able to choose two feasible methods, as a group, that they would like
           to try in our experiment.
       •   Students will be able to define the terms: treatment, plot, control.
       •   Students will be able to work cooperatively in groups in the field.
       •   Students will be able to give and record a rating for each treatment based on the scale
           described on their “Data Sheet”.
       •   Students will be able to make a prediction about which treatment they think will work
           the best to get rid of the non-native grass.
       •   Students will be able to create title cards to use on a poster describing their class
           project.
       •   Students will be able to use their class data to describe the solution to the Mulch
           Mystery.
       •   Students will be able to list at least one reason why their treatment did or did not
           work.




                   Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                           http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
           This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
       Oregon Standards:
             Level: 5th Grade
             Subject: Science
             Strand: Scientific Inquiry
                 • Make observations. Ask questions or form hypotheses based on those
                   observations, which can be explored through scientific investigations.
                 • Design a simple scientific investigation to answer questions or test
                   hypotheses.
                 • Collect, organize, and summarize data from investigations.
                 • Summarize, analyze, and interpret data from investigations.



        Time Estimate
                This project was done over eight 60-minute class periods. Each class period was
separated by a week’s worth of time (this is important when collecting data, so that enough time
is allowed for the treatments to affect the grass).




       Materials (see individual lessons for detailed material lists)
           • Non-native grass plants
           • Poster board
           • Loupe Lenses or other magnifying lenses
           • 3-ring binder
           • Camera
           • Clip boards
           • Prizes for “Wild Cards”
           • Prizes for group quiz
           • 3x5 cards
           • Materials to establish treatments (see individual lessons)
           • Wooden stakes
           • Flagging tape
           • One adult volunteer/aide
           • Construction paper
           • Tri-fold display board


       Worksheets (attached)
            “Scavenger Hunt”
            “My Mulch Plot”
            “Describing Our Experiment”
            “Data Sheet”
            “Wild Cards”


                  Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                          http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
          This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
       Vocabulary
                     •   Treatment
                     •   Plot
                     •   Control
                     •   Native plant
                     •   Non-native, invasive plant


        Background Information
                Students should have some background knowledge about what a native and non-
native plant is. They should be familiar with their school’s “outside area”, in this case the
CRWA. Students should have at least some experience asking questions, making observations,
and writing procedures.



       Daily Lesson Plans (attached)




         Extensions/Resources
                 The 4-H Wildlife Stewards Summit was a good end-point for this experiment
because the poster was presented to the community and other schools in the county. If such an
activity was not planned (such as a Science Fair), the class could present their project to another
class or to their principle, librarian, or other figure in the school (they could visit the classroom
for the presentation).



         Teacher Keys (attached)




                   Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                           http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
           This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
                                           The Mulch Mystery


                                               DAY # 1

I.     Objectives
         1) Students will be able to make detailed observations about a non-native species
             of grass.
         2) Students will be able to define reasonable policies that they will be expected to
             follow while working in the CRWA.

II.    Teacher Preparation
                Pick enough non-native grass plants so that each student will have one
                 (this can easily be done by going to the lawn and pulling up some grass;
                 an individual plant is connected at the base and should include some
                 roots).
                Create a poster board with a title that can be used as a list of policies that
                 should be followed when working in the field. (Our title: Clover Ridge
                 Wildlife Area Policies.)
                Have enough Loupe Lenses or other magnifying lenses for students to at
                 least share with one partner.
                Have enough “Scavenger Hunt” worksheet for each student.
                Have one 3-ring class binder to keep all work from the project.
                Have a camera on hand, if possible.

III.   Introduction for students(10 minutes)
          Ask students “What is a native plant?”. Use their answers to discuss the
          differences between native and non-native plants. Include why it is important to
          encourage native plants and discourage non-native plants (especially invasive
          non-natives). Explain that during “The Mulch Mystery” we will be solving a
          problem at Clover Ridge Elementary School…the problem is how we can get rid
          of all the non-native grasses in the Clover Ridge Wildlife Area (CRWA) so that
          we can plant native grasses! By the end of this unit, the class will solve the
          mystery and provide the solution for the school.

IV.    Student Directions/ Demonstrations of Techniques (10 minutes)
          Pass out hand lenses, and one native grass plant to each student. Explain that this
          is one of the non-native grasses growing all over the CRWA. As a class, ask
          students to describe this non-native plant. Draw picture of the grass on the board
          based on the students’ descriptions. Use this to guide them towards
          describing/observing all the details of the plant (e.g. the way the leaves come off
          the main stem, the color changes along the stem, the roots).

V.     Activity Procedures (20 minutes)

               Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                       http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
       This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
            After creating a class drawing, hand out the “Scavenger Hunt” worksheets and
            have students draw their non-native grass plant in the space provided. This work
            should be done individually. Take pictures. Explain that the worksheets will be
            used again the next day when students go on a scavenger hunt to explore the
            CRWA. Today we learned how to closely observe the grass plants and draw a
            detailed picture.

VI.      Closing Activity/ Assessments (15 minutes)
           Go over, as a class, the rest of the worksheet so students know what they will be
           expected to do during the next class period. There is a space for drawing a native
           grass plant…ask them how they would draw that (refer to the details used to draw
           today’s non-native plant). During the next class period, we will be working
           outside, so we need to come up with some class policies for working in the field.
           As a class, brainstorm acceptable behavior when working in the outdoor
           classroom. List these on the poster board and save for field days.

VII.   Clean-up (5 minutes)
          Collect plants in plastic bag and put in compost pile. Collect hand lenses, and
          worksheets. Worksheets can be kept in a class binder for all work during this
          unit. You can look over their worksheets to identify any problems that may need
          to be addressed before drawing their second picture.




               Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                       http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
       This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
                                           The Mulch Mystery


                                               DAY # 2

VIII. Objectives
        1) Students will be able to make detailed observations about a native grass.
        2) Students will be able to list, in small groups, two treatments that have been
            used in the CRWA to control the non-native grass.

IX.    Teacher Preparation
                Have one clipboard (or something hard to write on that students can take
                 outside) per student.
                Have Loupe Lenses or other magnifying lenses for students.
                Have “Wild Cards” printed and cut to hand out to students in the field.
                Have a camera on hand, if possible.

X.     Introduction for students(10 minutes)
          Pass back the “Scavenger Hunt” worksheets from Day 1. Review their drawings
          and the rest of the questions for the scavenger hunt. Explain that we will be going
          outside to find answers to the rest of our scavenger hunt questions and working in
          small groups. Review the CRWA Policies and describe that they can earn “Wild
          Cards” for following the policies in the field. Each “Wild Card” can be turned in
          for prizes (stickers, pencils, bookmarks… we were able to get many free items
          from the Siuslaw National Forest Headquarters). An alternative is to give
          students the opportunity to donate their “Wild Cards” to a class bag to earn an
          Ice-Cream Lab (making ice cream in Ziploc bags).


XI.    Student Directions/ Demonstrations of Techniques (5 minutes)
          Ask students where they can find native grasses in the CRWA (many native
          grasses have already been planted in plugs under black plastic). These are the
          grasses they will need to draw. Have one or two students describe some key
          features to include in their drawings based on their non-native grass drawings
          (e.g. how the leaves come off the stem, color changes along the stem, width of
          leaves…).

XII.   Activity Procedures (30 minutes)
          Place students in groups of 4 (the number of groups will determine how many
          treatments you will ultimately have for the experiment), and hand out clipboards.
          Explain that groups need to work together, and this will also help them earn
          “Wild Cards”. As a class, head out to the CRWA. Students will answer the
          questions on the Scavenger Hunt worksheet until they get to the point where they
          come inside to answer the remaining questions (see worksheet). Take pictures.

               Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                       http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
       This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
XIII. Closing Activity/ Assessments (10 minutes)
        Review the worksheets as a class and discuss their answers.
XIV. Clean-up (5 minutes)
        Collect worksheets and clipboards. Place worksheets in binder.




                Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                        http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
        This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
                                           The Mulch Mystery


                                               DAY # 3

XV.    Objectives
         1) Students will be able to participate in a class brainstorm of possible methods to
         get rid of the non-native grass in the CRWA.
         2) Students will be able to choose two feasible methods, as a group, that they
         would like to try in our experiment.

XVI. Teacher Preparation
              Have prizes ready for anyone who wishes to turn in “Wild Cards” they
               earned during the previous class (and plastic bag for collecting donated
               cards for Ice-Cream Lab).
              Have a large area (either board or large pieces of butcher paper) where
               you can list all the ideas discussed during the brainstorm.
              Have one 3x5 card per group.

XVII. Introduction for students(10 minutes)
         Begin by quickly passing out prizes for those that wish to turn in their “Wild
         Cards”, or place in bag if donating for Ice-Cream Lab. Explain that we will create
         a class experiment in the field to test different mulch methods to get rid of the
         non-native grasses. The method that works the best will become the solution to
         our mystery! Introduce the vocabulary term: TREATMENT. A treatment is
         something that you are changing in your experiment. It is also called a variable.
         Write the definition on the board.

XVIII. Student Directions/ Demonstrations of Techniques (5 minutes)
          Explain that we will brainstorm possible “treatments” or methods to try in the
          CRWA. The treatments will be things we could do to the non-native grass to try
          to get rid of it. They will be something we are changing (in this case adding) in
          our experiment. (Review what it means to brainstorm…we will write down any
          and all ideas…at the end of the brainstorm, we will need to decide which ones are
          more feasible than others, so try to focus on ideas that we could actually attempt!)

XIX. Activity Procedures (30 minutes)
        Pass out “Scavenger Hunt” worksheets (the last question on these are should have
        some preliminary ideas to begin the brainstorm). Spend a good amount of time
        brainstorming possibilities. The process may start out slow, but once the students
        get rolling, they can brainstorm for a while! After writing down all ideas (spend
        at least 20 minutes on this), go through the list as a class and discuss whether or
        not each idea would be possible to use in our experiment (e.g. pesticides will not
        work because we are trying to create a native habitat that will encourage wildlife;

               Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                       http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
       This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
           fire will not work because the area is so close to the school; a tractor will not
           work because it’s too big for the area, and we don’t have one…).

XX.     Closing Activity/ Assessments (10 minutes)
          Have students get into their groups, if not already. Pass out a 3x5 card for each
          group. As a group (emphasize cooperation…what will it look like, sound like…),
          have them choose their top two choices for possible treatments, and write them
          and their names on the 3x5 card.

XXI. Clean-up (5 minutes)
        Collect worksheets and the 3x5 cards. Put worksheets in binder. Use the 3x5
        cards to assign treatments to the groups (try to give each group one of their top
        choices…if the class has few possible treatments on their brainstorm list, you may
        wish to have them write their top 3 choices to avoid duplicates).




              Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                      http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
      This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
                                           The Mulch Mystery


                                               DAY # 4

XXII. Objectives
        1) Students will be able to define the terms: treatment, plot, control.
        2) Students will be able to work cooperatively in groups in the field to set up their
        treatments.

XXIII. Teacher Preparation
                Have treatments assigned to each group based on their 3x5 card choices
                 from the previous class period.
                Have materials ready for each group to set up their treatment (e.g. our five
                 treatments were: tin foil, plastic bags, tarp, newspaper, soil); not only
                 should you have the actual treatment supplies, but also supplies for
                 holding down the treatments (stakes, metal U-pins) and other supplies
                 (shovels, buckets…).
                Have plots marked with flagging or stakes so each group knows where
                 they are applying their treatment.
                Have at least one parent volunteer or other aide help on this day (one adult
                 needs to be in the classroom, while another needs to go out to the field
                 with students)
                Have “Wild Cards” ready to hand out during time in the field.
                Have enough “My Mulch Plot” worksheets for each student.
                Have a camera on hand, if possible.

XXIV. Introduction for students(5 minutes)
         Describe the field design to the class by drawing the plots on the board. Introduce
         the vocabulary terms: PLOT and CONTROL. Plot = the space where you will
         test your treatment (review the term treatment); Control = a plot where you are
         not changing anything in your experiment…a control plot gives you something to
         compare the rest of your treatment plots to (the importance of the control plot will
         become more apparent as they collect data).

XXV. Student Directions/ Demonstrations of Techniques (5 minutes)
        Have students get into their groups. Pass out the “My Mulch Plot Plan”
        worksheets. Explain that groups will be working on these worksheets while one
        group at a time goes into the field to set up their treatment. Announce treatments
        assigned to each group, and show the class the materials you have brought in
        (stakes, metal U-pins, shovels, buckets, etc.) Also explain that the first group
        setting up their treatment will need to answer the first two questions and get a
        teacher check before they can go outside. Review the CRWA Policies.


               Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                       http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
       This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
XXVI. Activity Procedures (35 minutes)
         Circulate around the room and help groups as they work on describing their
         Mulch Plot Plans and defining the vocabulary terms. Another adult should be
         outside helping groups set up their treatments; they should hand out “Wild Cards”
         when appropriate. Take pictures.

XXVII.      Closing Activity/ Assessments (10 minutes)
           Review answers to worksheets and have groups that went outside share how the
           process went. Any advice for groups yet to go?

XXVIII. Clean-up (5 minutes)
        Wash hands, if necessary. Collect worksheets and place in binder.




              Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                      http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
      This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
                                           The Mulch Mystery


                                               DAY # 5

XXIX. Objectives
        1) Students will be able to give and record a rating for each treatment based on the
        scale described on their “Data Sheet”.
        2) Students will be able to make a prediction about which treatment they think
        will work the best to get rid of the non-native grass.
        3) Students will be able to work cooperatively in their groups to create signs to
        label their treatments in the field.

XXX. Teacher Preparation
              Have enough clipboards for one group to use at a time.
              Have prizes for “Wild Cards” to hand out at the beginning of class.
              Have enough “Describing Our Experiment” worksheets for each student.
              Have enough “Data Sheet” worksheets for each student.
              Have a parent volunteer or other aide to help during this day (to take
               groups outside).
              Have construction paper for making signs.
              Have a camera on hand, if possible.

XXXI. Introduction for students(5 minutes)
         Begin by quickly passing out prizes for those that wish to turn in their “Wild
         Cards”, or place in bag if donating for Ice-Cream Lab. Have students get into
         their groups. Explain that today we will collect the first data from our
         experiment! Pass out the “Data Sheet” worksheets. Review the field design and
         fill in the names of the treatments. Pass out the “Describing our Experiment”
         worksheets. Go over questions (some are review questions).

XXXII.      Student Directions/ Demonstrations of Techniques (5 minutes)
            Explain that as groups go outside to rate the treatments, everyone else will work
            on: 1) coloring example blocks to describe each rating on their “Data Sheets”. 2)
            Answering the questions on the “Describing our Experiment” worksheet. 3)
            Making signs for their treatments. When rating treatments outside, look in the
            center of the plots (why would we not want to rate the “edges”?). Explain that
            the first group to go outside must first make their prediction on the “Describing
            our Experiment” worksheet (question #2).

XXXIII. Activity Procedures (35 minutes)
        One group at a time will go with the other adult to the CRWA and rate every
        treatment. Pass out “Wild Cards” when appropriate. Circulate the room and help
        groups as they work on their worksheets. After about 15 minutes, pass out the
        construction paper so groups can work on making a sign for their treatment. Half
               Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                       http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
       This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
         of each group can work together on a sign that says “Treatment:”, the other half of
         the groups can work together on a sign that says “Tin-foil” (or whatever the name
         of their treatment is). Go over how you can work with one or two other people to
         make a sign. For groups that finish early, have one group work on a sign for the
         control plot. Take pictures.

XXXIV.    Closing Activity/ Assessments (10 minutes)
         Share class ratings. Also share answers to “Describing our Experiment”.

XXXV.    Clean-up (5 minutes)
         Collect all worksheets and place in binder. Collect signs (laminate these signs
         and place on wooden stakes).




            Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                    http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
    This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
                                           The Mulch Mystery


                                               DAY # 6

XXXVI. Objectives
       1) Students will be able to give and record a rating for each treatment based on the
       scale described on their “Data Sheet”.
       2) Students will be able to define the vocabulary terms without looking at the
       definitions (plot, treatment, control, native plant).

XXXVII. Teacher Preparation
            Have prizes ready for “Wild Card” holders.
            Have prizes ready for group quiz (can use same prizes as for “Wild Cards”,
             or can use a bag of candy)
            Have past worksheets that have not yet been completed.
            Have enough clipboards for one group to use at a time.
            Have enough new “Data Sheet” worksheets for each student.
            Have a parent volunteer or other aide to help during this day (to take groups
             outside).
            Have laminated, staked signs ready for groups to take outside.
            Have a camera on hand, if possible.

XXXVIII. Introduction for students(5 minutes)
         Begin by quickly passing out prizes for those that wish to turn in their “Wild
         Cards”, or place in bag if donating for Ice-Cream Lab. Have students get into
         their groups. Explain that we will be collecting another day of data, and pass out
         new “Data Sheets”. Pass out any old worksheets that are incomplete (there will
         be lots of these!).

XXXIX. Student Directions/ Demonstrations of Techniques (5 minutes)
       Each group will go outside as the rest of the groups work on unfinished
       worksheets and color the rating boxes on their new Data Sheets. Review the
       rating scale on the Data Sheets.

XL.    Activity Procedures (30 minutes)
          One group at a time will go with the other adult to the CRWA and rate every
          treatment. They will also place their laminated sign in front of their plot. Pass
          out “Wild Cards” when appropriate. Take pictures. Circulate the room and help
          groups as they finish their worksheets. After all groups have completed their
          ratings (this will go more quickly than the first time), reconvene as a class in the
          classroom. Collect all worksheets.

XLI.     Closing Activity/ Assessments (15 minutes)

               Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                       http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
       This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
           Explain that we will be taking a “group quiz”. Each group will work together to
           answer questions and can earn prizes for the correct answer. Have each group
           take out one sheet of notebook paper and designate a “recorder”. Explain that the
           question will be asked to the entire class and each group will have two minutes to
           quietly talk about the answer and write it down. After two minutes, we will go
           around the room and get the answers from each group. If correct the group will
           get candy from the bag, or other small prizes (stickers). Questions to ask: What
           is a treatment? Control? Plot? Native Plant? Why are we doing this experiment?

XLII. Clean-up (5 minutes)
         Throw away any candy wrappers. Put away prizes.




              Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                      http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
      This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
                                           The Mulch Mystery


                                               DAY # 7

XLIII. Objectives
         1) Students will be able to give and record a rating for each treatment based on the
         scale described on their “Data Sheet”.
         2) Students will be able to create title cards to use on a poster describing their
         class project.
         3) Students will be able to use their class data to describe the solution to the
         Mulch Mystery.

XLIV. Teacher Preparation
              Have prizes ready for “Wild Card” holders.
              Have enough clipboards for one group to use at a time.
              Have enough new “Data Sheet” worksheets for each student.
              Have a parent volunteer or other aide to help during this day (to take groups
               outside).
              Have pieces of construction paper cut into rectangles for students to draw
               title cards for their poster.
              Have a tri-fold cardboard display board for the class’ poster.

XLV. Introduction for students (5 minutes)
        Begin by quickly passing out prizes for those that wish to turn in their “Wild
        Cards”, or place in bag if donating for Ice-Cream Lab. Have students get into
        their groups. Explain that we will be collecting a third day of data, and pass out
        new “Data Sheets”. Also explain that the class will be creating a poster to share
        their experiment; show the class the display board.

XLVI. Student Directions/ Demonstrations of Techniques (5 minutes)
         When groups are not outside collecting data, they will be making title cards for
         the poster on pieces of construction paper. These will be glued to the poster with
         examples of their work illustrating each of the topics.

XLVII.      Activity Procedures (35 minutes)
            Have students form their groups. Pass out construction paper rectangles. Assign
            words to each group (words to use on the poster title cards are: “Question”, “Our
            Plan”, “Prediction”, “Title”, “The Mulch Mystery”, “Data”, “Conclusion” or
            “What We Recommend”…). Although groups will have the same words, each
            student should work on a title card individually. The best cards will be chosen for
            the poster, so emphasize neat work using a ruler and starting in pencil. One group
            at a time will go with the other adult to the CRWA and rate every treatment. Pass
            out “Wild Cards” when appropriate. Circulate the room and help groups as they

               Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                       http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
       This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
            work on their title cards. After all groups have completed their ratings, reconvene
            as a class in the classroom.

XLVIII.      Closing Activity/ Assessments (10 minutes)
            As a class, discuss which treatment received the lowest rating (meaning it did the
            best job getting rid of the non-native grass). Have students take out a piece of
            notebook paper and work individually to write a recommendation to Clover Ridge
            Elementary School. Include what they recommend for getting rid of the non-
            native grass and how they can do it. Remind the class to write neatly and in
            complete sentences. Choose a good answer from this exercise to use under the
            “What We Recommend” section of their poster.

XLIX. Clean-up (5 minutes)
         Collect all title cards; put away markers and rulers and any other supplies they
         may have used to make their cards. Collect data sheets and put in binders.




               Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                       http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
       This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
                                           The Mulch Mystery


                                               DAY # 8

L.     Objectives
         1) Students will be able to work cooperatively in groups in the CRWA to remove
         their treatment and apply the “winning” treatment.
         2) Students will be able to list at least one reason why their treatment did or did
         not work.

LI.    Teacher Preparation
                Have a supply of the “winning” treatment that will adequately cover all
                 other plots (our winning treatment was newspaper; we sent notices home
                 with the students to bring in newspaper and had gotten plenty that way).
                Have prizes ready for “Wild Card” holders.
                Have a parent volunteer or other aide to help during this day (to take
                 groups outside).
                Have the tri-fold display board in class with chosen titles and other chosen
                 work (from previous worksheets) that can be used to create their poster.
                 (This may require some time on your part to plan the layout ahead of
                 time…you may wish to type out answers from worksheets to make the
                 poster look consistent, bring in photographs from the experiment, and
                 create a background for the poster).

         ***NOTE: If the class wishes to keep their treatments visible for any sort of
         school presentation or to show parents, they can work on their poster without
         removing their old treatments. The section of this lesson that involves removing
         their old treatments and applying the “winning” treatment can then be saved for
         a later date.***

LII.   Introduction for students(5 minutes)
          Begin by quickly passing out prizes for those that wish to turn in their “Wild
          Cards”, or place in bag if donating for Ice-Cream Lab. Have students get into
          their groups. Explain that we will be concluding our project by making our class
          poster and removing the treatments that did not work. After all, the goal of this
          project was to determine the best solution to the Mystery to help the school get rid
          of non-native grass…so we want to apply our best treatment to the entire field
          plot area!

LIII. Student Directions/ Demonstrations of Techniques (10 minutes)
         Groups will go outside and remove their old treatment and apply the “winning”
         treatment to their plot. For the group with the most successful treatment, they
         obviously won’t be removing it…instead they can apply their treatment to the
         control plot. When not working outside, explain that students will be 1)
               Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                       http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
       This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
           answering the following questions on a piece of paper as a group (can write these
           on the board): Why do you think your treatment did or did not work? If you were
           to use your same treatment again, how would you change your plan? (would you
           apply thicker layers, would you use different tools…); 2) working on gluing items
           to their poster (these items include their title cards, selected work, pictures,
           examples of treatments—can cut out pieces of their treatments to create a small-
           scale illustration of the field plots—and any other items that are appropriate).

LIV. Activity Procedures (35 minutes)
        One group at a time will go with the other adult to the CRWA to remove their
        treatment and apply the “winning” treatment to their plot. Pass out “Wild Cards”
        when appropriate. Circulate the room and help groups as they answer the
        questions and work on the poster. You may wish to call individual groups to
        come up to the poster to work on one section of it at a time. Add group responses
        to today’s questions to the poster.

LV.     Closing Activity/ Assessments (8 minutes)
          Share the class poster!

LVI. Clean-up (2 minutes)
        Clean-up any supplies that have been used.




              Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                      http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
      This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
The Mulch Mystery!                                               Your Name: _______________
SCAVENGER HUNT

1. Can you find both NON-native and native grass in the Clover Ridge
Wildlife Area (CRWA)? Draw each type of grass in the boxes below:

     NON-NATIVE GRASS:                                                     NATIVE GRASS:




2. Can you find two ways Clover Ridge has tried to get rid of the NON-
native grass? List two ways below:
      a)

     b)

3. AFTER GETTING A “TEACHER-CHECK”, try pulling up some NON-
native grass by hand. How easy is it to pull up NON-native grass by
hand? Report your findings below:




                  Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                          http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
          This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
***************************************************************
When you get to this point, work on the rest INSIDE the classroom.
***************************************************************

4. Why does Clover Ridge want to get rid of NON-native grass in the
CRWA?




5. What are some other ways we might want to try to get rid of the
non-native grass? List as many as you can think of below (hint: think
about other material we could put on top of the non-native grass to try
to kill it):




                Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                        http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
        This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
The Mulch Mystery!                                             Your Name: (Teacher Key)
SCAVENGER HUNT

1. Can you find both NON-native and native grass in the Clover Ridge
Wildlife Area (CRWA)? Draw each type of grass in the boxes below:

     NON-NATIVE GRASS:                                                   NATIVE GRASS:




2. Can you find two ways Clover Ridge has tried to get rid of the NON-
native grass? List two ways below:
      a) Black plastic fabric

     b) Cardboard covered by bark mulch

3. AFTER GETTING A “TEACHER-CHECK”, try pulling up some NON-
native grass by hand. How easy is it to pull up NON-native grass by
hand? Report your findings below:
This should not be an easy task! Ask students if they would like to do
this over the entire non-native grassy area at the CRWA?!




                Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                        http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
        This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
***************************************************************
When you get to this point, work on the rest INSIDE the classroom.
***************************************************************

4. Why does Clover Ridge want to get rid of NON-native grass in the
CRWA?

So that they can successfully plant native grasses and other native
plants that won’t get out-competed by the non-native, invasive grass.
This will provide excellent native wildlife habitat.




5. What are some other ways we might want to try to get rid of the
non-native grass? List as many as you can think of below (hint: think
about other material we could put on top of the non-native grass to try
to kill it):

-fabric
-tin foil
-newspaper
-wood
-plastic
-rocks
      (etc…)


                Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                        http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
        This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
        Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
The Mulch Mystery!                                                    Your name:_________________
MY MULCH PLOT PLAN                                                    Names of other group members:
                                                                      _________________________
                                                                      _________________________
                                                                      _________________________


1) Our plot will have __________________________________________

for the mulch treatment.



2) Write a plan for how you will set up your plot (include the amount of the

treatment you will apply, and how you will keep it in place):




                                                                                           Please turn paper over!
                   Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                           http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
           This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
VOCABULARY REVIEW:

3) What is a plot ? ___________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________



4) What is a treatment ? ______________________________________

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________



5) What is a control ? ________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________




6) The control plot will have ____________________________________

for it’s treatment. Why?




                  Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                          http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
          This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
The Mulch Mystery!                                                      Your name: (Teacher Key)
MY MULCH PLOT PLAN                                                      Names of other group members:
                                                                        _________________________
                                                                        _________________________
                                                                        _________________________


1) Our plot will have ___List your treatment here _____ for the mulch

treatment.



2) Write a plan for how you will set up your plot (include the amount of the

treatment you will apply, and how you will keep it in place):

Write this as a “procedure” with steps that anyone could follow to set up the

treatment. Students should see the supplies that are available before writing

this and use those supplies in their plan.




                                                                                             Please turn paper over!




                     Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                             http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
             This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
VOCABULARY REVIEW:

3) What is a plot ? A plot is the space where you will test your treatment in

the experiment.



4) What is a treatment ? A treatment is something that you are changing in

the experiment. A treatment is also called a “variable”.



5) What is a control ? A control is a plot where you are not changing anything

in the experiment. The control plot is an area where you can compare your

treatment plots to.




6) The control plot will have nothing done to it for it’s treatment. Why? The

control plot has nothing done to it to provide an area of comparison when we

start to look at our treatments. If we look at our treatment and try to rate

it and we are not sure if the grass looks a little yellow, we can compare it to

our control plot to gauge the color of the grass.




                   Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                           http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
           This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
The Mulch Mystery!      Your Name: ____________________
DESCRIBING OUR EXPERIMENT

1. What question are we asking in this experiment? (What are we trying to
find out?)
__________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________


2. What is your prediction in this experiment?
(Which treatment do you think will work the best?)
__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________


3. Draw a picture of your plot below:




                   Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                           http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
           This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
4. What is your treatment ?

__________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________


5. What other treatments are being tested by the class?
     ____________________________

     ____________________________

     ____________________________

     ____________________________


6. What is your control ?
__________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________


7. What is a non-native, invasive plant ?
__________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________


8. Why are we doing this experiment? ☺
__________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________




                  Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                          http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
          This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
The Mulch Mystery!      Your Name: (Teacher Key)
DESCRIBING OUR EXPERIMENT

1. What question are we asking in this experiment? (What are we trying to
find out?)
What is the best way to get rid of non-native grasses in the Clover Ridge

Wildlife Area?


2. What is your prediction in this experiment?
(Which treatment do you think will work the best?)
I predict that the __________________ treatment will work the best to

get rid of non-native grass because it will block the sunlight from the grass.


3. Draw a picture of your plot below:




                   Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                           http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
           This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
4. What is your treatment ?

List your treatment.


5. What other treatments are being tested by the class?
     List all other treatments being used


6. What is your control ?
It is the plot that has NOTHING done to it.


7. What is a non-native, invasive plant ?
A non-native, invasive plant is a plant that did not originally grow in this area

and grows so quickly that it out-competes other plants.


8. Why are we doing this experiment? ☺
To solve our “Mystery” and provide our school with a good way to tackle the

non-native grass in our wildlife area, so that we can successfully plant native

plants!




                    Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                            http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
            This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
The Mulch Mystery!                                                     Your name: ____________________
DATA SHEET                                                             Today’s Date: __________________


Below is a picture of the area where the class plots are set up.
Label each treatment, and record the rating for each plot.


   Treatment:

   Rating:




   Treatment:            Treatment:                  Treatment:                 Treatment:                  Treatment:




    Rating:                Rating:                     Rating:                   Rating:                     Rating:




************************************************************************
Grass Growth Rating:

0 = ALL grass is completely dead and brown
1 = ALL grass is yellow
2 = There is MORE yellow grass than green grass
3 = There is an EQUAL amount of yellow and green grass
4 = There is MORE green grass than yellow grass
5 = ALL grass is green



        0                    1                     2                      3                     4                       5
                        Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                                http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
                This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
Clover Ridge Wildlife Area                                     Clover Ridge Wildlife Area




       Earned For                                                           Earned For
   Outstanding Behavior                                                 Outstanding Behavior
          in the                                                               in the
          CRWA                                                                 CRWA

Clover Ridge Wildlife Area                                     Clover Ridge Wildlife Area




       Earned For                                                           Earned For
   Outstanding Behavior                                                 Outstanding Behavior
          in the                                                               in the
          CRWA                                                                 CRWA

Clover Ridge Wildlife Area                                     Clover Ridge Wildlife Area




       Earned For                                                           Earned For
   Outstanding Behavior                                                 Outstanding Behavior
      in the CRWA                                                              in the
                                                                               CRWA




                Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                        http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
        This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
Clover Ridge Wildlife Area                                     Clover Ridge Wildlife Area




       Earned For                                                           Earned For
   Outstanding Behavior                                                 Outstanding Behavior
          in the                                                               in the
          CRWA                                                                 CRWA

Clover Ridge Wildlife Area                                     Clover Ridge Wildlife Area




       Earned For                                                           Earned For
   Outstanding Behavior                                                 Outstanding Behavior
          in the                                                               in the
          CRWA                                                                 CRWA

Clover Ridge Wildlife Area                                     Clover Ridge Wildlife Area




      Earned For                                                         Earned For
  Outstanding Behavior                                               Outstanding Behavior
         in the                                                             in the
         CRWA                                                               CRWA




                Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                        http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
        This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372
        Oregon State University National Science Foundation Rural Science Education Program
                                http://cropandsoil.oregonstate.edu/gk12
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0139372

				
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