Countryside Live at Lee Valley Park Country Fair for Schools Wednesday 21st & Thursday 22nd September 2005 Teacher’s Pack About the day Children will be led on a guided walk around Walthamstow Marsh with experienced staff from Lee Valley Park Youth & Schools Service and the Ranger Service. Once ‘Lammas Lands’ (common grazing), Walthamstow Marsh (SSSI) is now one of the last remaining semi natural wetlands in Greater London. The Lee Valley Park acquired the Marsh from the London Borough of Waltham Forest in July 1969. Children will be taken on a 45 minute tour which will aim to give them an exciting introduction to this important environment. All children will then be given a set of binoculars to introduce them to bird watching. They will also be able to see first hand the terrestrial invertebrates which inhabit the marsh and provide an important food source for the birds. Identification keys will be provided and staff will be available to assist. Sweep nets, beating sheets, spoons, trays and magnifying pots will be lent to children to allow them to capture and study the invertebrates. The walk provides links with geography and science parts of the National Curriculum. The full Youth and Schools programme is available to view at www.leevalleypark.org.uk Invertebrate Fact File Information on invertebrates commonly found at Walthamstow Marsh Slugs and Snails Where do they live? How do they move? What do they eat? They are eaten by: Special features: In damp places among plants, under stones or in soil. They move by means of a muscular foot and ease their movement by producing slime. Slugs and snails are herbivores. They prefer eat soft juicy leaves. Birds, hedgehogs and frogs. Snails have a shell but slugs do not. The snail’s shell acts as protection against predators and is usually well camouflaged Spiders Where do they live? How do they move? What do they eat? They are eaten by: Special features: Spiders are found in most parts of the habitat, including under logs, in tall grass and trees. With their eight legs, spiders are known to be fast movers in the invertebrate world! Spiders are carnivores, they eat other insects. Many spiders spin webs where they catch flies. Other spiders and birds. They paralyse or kill their prey by injecting them with poison from their fangs. Ants Where do they live? How do they move? What do they eat? They are eaten by: Special features: They are found on the ground or in trees and bushes, but they live in large nests which tunnel under ground. They walk on their six legs. Most ants milk aphids and scale insects for their honeydew. Birds. Ants are called ‘social insects’ because they work together in large colonies. Grasshoppers Where do they live? How do they move? Tall grass. Although grasshoppers can fly, they usually only use their wings to glide after launching themselves using their powerful long hind legs. Grasshoppers are herbivores, living on a diet of grass and other vegetation. Birds, mice, badgers and hedgehogs. The males make a `chirping' song by rubbing their hind legs on the veins of their forewings. What do they eat? They are eaten by: Special features: Froghoppers Where do they live? How do they move? What do they eat? They are eaten by: Special features: Shield bugs Where do they live? How do they move? What do they eat? On bushes. They can fly but also crawl up stems of bushes and over leaves. Shield bugs are herbivores. They have a tube-like piercing mouthpart, for sucking the juices of plants. Birds, including tits and warblers. They are sometimes called stink bugs because they can spray out poisonous liquid to deter predators. Grassland and bushes. As the name suggest, these insects jump. They have a tube-like piercing mouthpart, for sucking the juices of plants. Birds, including tits and warblers. Camouflaged to look like part of a leaf. They are eaten by: Special features: Centipedes Where do they live? How do they move? What do they eat? They are eaten by: Special features: Under stones and logs. They are very fast moving and have one pair of legs for each body segment. They are carnivores and eat earthworms, insects, spiders and other small animals. Badgers, shrews and birds. Their first pair of legs are modified into poisonous jaws underneath positioned underneath the mouth to kill insects. Suggestions for follow-up work If you enjoyed today’s ‘taster’ session, why not book your class into a half day or full day with Lee Valley Park Youth & Schools Service. There are sessions available all year at many sites throughout the Lee Valley Park, covering a wide range of curriculum subjects. Phone 01992 702227 to book a session or look at our website: www.leevalleypark.org.uk Food Chain Activities Science KS2: Sc2 – Living things and their environment. 5d. to use food chains to show feeding relationships in the habitat 5e. about how nearly all food chains start with a green plant Pupils could research particular invertebrates they found on the visit, including what they eat and what eats them! These could be linked in simple food chains, e.g., Plant Herbivore - Carnivore – Secondary Carnivore. This in turn could be linked to their plans to develop an invertebrate area at school, by looking at the food sources needed in a habitat and the creatures that may be attracted to such a habitat looking to eat invertebrates. Alternatively pupils could make food chain mobiles. Examples of food chains likely to be found at Walthamstow Marsh: Daisy Ant Spider Blackbird Nettle Comma Caterpillar Spider Centipede Make a minibeast out of natural materials Science KS2: Sc2 – Living things and their environment. 5b. how animals in two different habitats are suited to their environment Pupils in groups of two or three, or on their own, collect natural materials, such as fallen leaves, twigs and stones. Out of these they make their own minibeast on the ground, one never seen before. Pupils have to give their new minibeast a name, decide where it lives, how it moves, what and how it eats and how it protects itself from predators. When everyone has completed their minibeast, each one is visited by the whole class, and the inventors explain the different body parts and life of their minibeast and how it is adapted for its life. Teachers and other pupils are then invited to ask questions about it, such as where does it sleep, or can it swim etc. This is a good re-enforcing activity for vocabulary such as ‘carnivore’, ‘herbivore’, ‘camouflaged’, ‘habitat’ and the different body parts of invertebrates. Identification Science KS2: Sc2 – Variation and classification 4a. to make and use keys 4b. how locally occurring animals can be identified and assigned to groups Pupils could draw a tree diagram as a simple way of identifying the land invertebrates they have found. This is also a useful introduction to keys. Habitat Collage Art and Design KS2: Investigating and making art, craft and design Pupils could make large posters/collages of the habitat. 3D land invertebrates could be made out of materials appropriate to their shape, colour and texture and also habitat features such as logs, trees, nettles, etc. School Grounds Survey Science KS2: Sc2 – Living things and their environment. 5a. about ways in which living things and the environment need protection 5b. about the different plants and animals found in different habitats Geography KS2: Geographical enquiry and skills 2e. to draw plans and maps at a range of scales 2g. decision-making skills Knowledge and understanding of environmental change 5a. recognise how people can improve the environment Pupils could carry out their own land invertebrate survey of their school grounds, or home and garden. They could design their own data collection sheet and maybe use a key/ tree diagram they have constructed to help them identify invertebrates they find. Comparisons can then be made between rural/urban habitats and natural/built environments. According to their results, pupils could then plan an invertebrate area for their school grounds. This could include drawing plans and maps to scale. This activity could lead to discussions about why we need to provide habitats for land invertebrates (i.e. to increase biodiversity and support larger animals such as birds and small mammals).