Lesson 1: Plant life in Long Island Sound
Students will learn the role the plants of Long Island Sound play in the growth and depletion of the marine life in the Sound.
Lesson 2: Cycling
Students will learn about the carbon cycle and nitrogen cycle and their role in both our lives and the lives of marine organisms.
Discuss with the students what each of the cycles are and how our lives are affected by these cycles. Discuss with the students how marine organisms are affected by each of the cycles.
Lesson 3: Invisible Critters
Students will learn what a germ is. Students will learn what bacteria are.
Materials: vegetable oil, sugar, cinnamon (optional), paper towels, soap, three tin pie plates
Explain to the students that bacteria, just like germs, are very tiny. Even though we cannot see them they are still there.
The term germs refers to viruses and certain bacteria that can make you sick, just like they do to plants and animals. But there are some steps we can take to stop germs from spreading and making us sick.
Germs and bacteria can both be harmful and helpful, but when most people hear these two words they only think of the harmful kind.
We are going to do a little exercise to show how important it is to wash your hands properly in order to wash away the germs (bacteria).
Explain to the students that the sugar, cinnamon and vegetable oil are germs.
Step 1: Pour some sugar into a pie plate.
Step 2: Pour a few drops of vegetable oil into each student's hand over a pie plate. Have the students rub the vegetable oil into their hands.
Step 3: The students will dip their hands into the pie plate with sugar and rub into their hands.
Step 4: Sprinkle their hands with cinnamon.
Step 5: Divide the class into two groups. One group will wash their hands only in warm water the other group will wash their hands in warm water and soap.
Questions to Ask:
How does the sugar mixture feel?
Which group was able to wash away the germs? How much time did it take?
Why is it important to use soap when you wash your hands?
If you don't use soap when you wash your hands what can happen?
Extension: Explains how germs spread
Spray your hands or the student's hands with water. Touch colored construction paper with your hands. This demonstrates how germs spread.
Lesson 4: Bacteria and Plants
Students will learn the role bacteria play in the role of plant survival in Long Island Sound.
Discuss with the students how cyanobacteria and archaea help plants to thrive in the Sound and how they can sometimes cause the plants or animals to flee or die off.
Lesson 5: Bacteria Up Close and Personal
Students will create a Winogradsky Column, using both a sample from Long Island Sound and a pond.
Materials: 4-16 ounce water bottles, tape, saran wrap, samples of mud from Long Island Sound and a pond, samples of water from Long Island Sound and a pond, camera, journals (one per student), pencils and crayons.
Procedure for making the Winogradsky Column:
Step 1: Label each 4-16 ounce bottle as follows: 1) Long Island Sound sunlight and 2) Long Island Sound darkness and 3) Pond sunlight and 4) Pond darkness
Step 2: Place mud from Long Island Sound in two bottles
Step 3: Place straw into each of the bottles.
Step 4: Add the water from Long Island Sound to the bottles 1 and 2, fill completely and Continue to top the water off to replace any water lost to evaporation over the course of the activity.
Step 5: Rip off two pieces of saran wrap and place loosely over the of bottles
Step 6: Cover the top of each bottle loosely with saran wrap and masking tape.
Repeat steps 1-6 with Pond water and mud sample.
Step 7: Take a picture of each bottle.
Step 8: Place one bottle from the Sound (#1) and Pond (#3) in the sun and the other bottles (#2 and # 4) in a dark spot in the room or a closet. Each should be stored in a well-ventilated area with loose covers to avoid a buildup of hydrogen sulfide gas.
Consult and follow safety guidelines for your school.
1. Post the pictures of each column on a bulletin board. Label the pictures with the type of water sample and whether it is getting sunlight or is in the dark. Label with the date.
2. The students will observe the columns each day and record their discoveries. Take a picture of the bottles each day the student's observe the bottles. This will allow you to make comparisons throughout their discoveries.
Possible questions to ask students:
What changes have you noticed?
Why do you think these changes have occurred?
What is causing the bacteria to grow?
Does the presence of sunlight or darkness make a difference in the growth of the bacteria? Why do you think that?
Lesson 6: Water Everywhere
Students will learn about the water cycle.
Materials: water samples from Long Island Sound, pond, and tap water, containers for each type of water, saran wrap, 3 elastics
Explain to the students the parts of the water cycle; precipitation, condensation, and evaporation. Provide examples of each of the stages.
Draw a picture on chart paper to illustrate the water cycle for the students.
Then explain that they will be creating an experiment to see condensation and evaporation in action.
Procedure for evaporation experiment:
Step 1: Place a sample of each type of water in a separate container. Label each container.
Step 2: Mark a line where the water is at top.
Step 3: Place saran wrap around the top of each container. Step 4: Place elastic or piece of tape around the rim of each container.
Step 5: Place containers in sun.
Step 6: Each day have the students check the containers to see what is happening with the water.
This will help them to understand how pollution affects the marine life, using the water cycle.
Lesson 7: Rocks Usefulness
Students will learn about the minerals rocks provide.
Lesson 8: Rock Formations
Students will learn about the weathering and erosion of rocks.
Materials: plastic wrap, clay, water, paper (enough for each student or group of students), camera
Step 1: Take the water and wet the clay. Work the water into the clay with your hands until soft and moist.
Step 2: Divide the clay into two equal pieces or roll it into a ball, or other shape.
Step 3: Wrap each piece of clay into the plastic wrap.
Step 4: Place one piece of clay in the freezer.
Step 5: Place the other piece of clay on a table or counter.
Step 6: Let the clay stay in the freezer and on the table or counter overnight.
Step 7: The next day, take the clay out of the freezer and unwrap both pieces.
Step 8: Make observations about how the clay pieces look? Do they look different? How? HINT: the clay from the freezer should have some cracks.
Step 9: Take a picture of each piece of clay. Have students draw a picture of what each piece of clay looks like, be sure to label their pictures with freezer and table.
Step 10: Repeat steps 4 9 for several days.
Observe the clay pieces each day and see how the cracks change over time.
Lesson 9: Attracting Iron
Students will learn about minerals in marine sand, with emphasis on iron minerals.
Materials: sand from the ocean, saran wrap, magnet, paper plate, chart paper, markers. This can be done as a whole group activity or in small groups, if in small groups you will need enough plates and magnets for each group.
On a piece of chart paper write the title Our Prediction.
Then, write the two headings: The magnet will attract the sand and the magnet will not attract the sand.
Write the students names under what they predict will happen.
Step 1: Pour sand on to a plate.
Step 2: Place a piece of saran wrap on the magnet. (Easier to clean off the magnet)
Step 3: Place the magnet slowly over the plate until the magnet attracts the sand.
Step 4: Remove the saran wrap from the magnet. I recommend that only the teacher do this.
Possible Questions to Ask:
Who can explain what happened with the magnet and the sand?
Why do you think this happened?
What was in the sand that made it cling to the magnet?
Modification: instead of using sand you can use an iron enriched cereal and water. You can also have them use a variety of items.
Lesson 10: Hurting Our Oceans
Students will learn about pollution and its affect on the life of the Sound.
Discuss with the students the different kinds of pollution and what effect they have on the marine life in the Sound. Also, discuss ways in which they can help to stop the pollution of the Sound.