Dolphin Talk

Dolphin Wikipedia Nov 7Dolphins on Finding Their Food:  DolphIns have approxImaTely 199 TeeTh and are In dIfferenT colors (their body, that is, not their teeth)— WhITe, Black, Grey, Brown, YeLLow and even Pink and Blue!Like human beIngs, DolphIns are MammaLs and Nurse TheIr young wITh TheIr MiLk.  They swIm In “schools”, also called “pods”, doIng some ThIngs on TheIr own, Though mosT ofTen are very socIaL – some havIng a shy characTer, and some beIng ouTward and enTerTaInIng, each wITh a unIque personaLITy.  Schools can be aT Times Found In The hundreds; Though River DolphIns are found only a handful In number.  (SpIlsbury; p. 6)They assIsT each oTher In FIndIng Food, carIng and LookIng ouT For One AnoTher and each oTher’s young.  (p. 7)

DolphIns keep warm because of a layer of Blubber, also called FaT, under The skIn.  In contrast, to stay warm, human beIngs have warm foods lIke gInger, blankeTs, Wood Fires, and each oTher!  InTeresTIngly, The Bones ThaT make up a DolphIn’s skeLeTon, are Filled wITh FaT and Oil, causIng TheIr bones To be boyoanT gIvIng Them an easIer Time To FLoaT.  That is so cool!   They move approxImaTely 10-15 km per hr Through The waTer. 

Range:  Eg. SpoTTed DolphIns  have A few hundred Miles / 400 km DIameTer of a Circular Range, TravelIng ~ 45 mIles / 70 km per day. (SpIlsbury; p. 9)

Their buoyant bones allow them to Stay Under waTer abouT 10 mInuTes aT a Time.  Then They surface To breaThe aIr Through TheIr blowhole, whIch has a muscular skInflap ThaT closes for when underwaTer (SpIlsbury; p.11).  Using EchoLocaTIon for finding Food, they eat SquId, KrIll, anchovIes, and mackeral, (small Fish mosTly).  It is InTeresTIng ThaT They eaT JellyFIsh wIThouT beIng harmed by Them – maybe only The small ones!  Because They have such good hearIng usIng echoLocaTIon, ThIs sense Is used more Than sIghT for FIndIng Food.  RIsso’s eaT mosTly squId.  Other River DolphIns eaT Clams, Crabs and Fish. (SpIlsbury; p. 12)  UsIng The nasal sacs found jusT behInd The BraIn, The dolphIn sends ouT sound waves called “EchoLocaTIon” ThaT surround and sIze up an objecT, fIgurIng ouT ITs generaL weIghT and sIze and shape, deTermInIng IF IT Is a Good Food Source.  (SpIlsbury; pp. 13, 14)  SpiLsbury, RIchard and LouIse; A SchooLoF DoLphIns; Illinois: 2004 HeInemann Library;  www. HeInemannLIbrary .com)  

Q – What is it that causes a Dolphin to have boyount bones?  That is, what elements cause their bones to be this way?  WHat other sea mammals have boyount bones?

Oily Birds (Good Oil, That is )

 Pelican WikiM April 21. 15This Month, we are Exploring how Oil can help Birds Better Adapt to wet environments.  Charles Darwin was a naturalist in the 1800s. He studied many plants and animals and looked at how they adapted to their environments and how they changed or evolved over time. In 1831, he journeyed to the Galapagos Islands, a set of islands off the coast of South America. Here he studied how animals had to adapt to live and how they differed from one another. He was particularly fascinated with the finches and the Tortoises that inhabited each island. He noticed that the Finches on each of the islands were similar enough to each other to identify that they were related but they each had different beaks. Some also had different coloring patterns and head shapes. He further studied the vegetation available on each island and concluded that the finches had to adapt to their environments and the beak size was dependent on the types of foods and seeds that the finches ate. Some had long narrow beaks while others had short thick beaks. This was because it was easier to get nectar from fruits and flowers with thin beaks and easier to crack hard shelled seeds with thick beaks. The finches had adapted to what food source was available for them on their island! (Photo: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/db/Brown_Pelican%2C_Pelagic_Boat_Trip.jpg/750px-Brown_Pelican%2C_Pelagic_Boat_Trip.jpg)

Charles Darwin coined the term “Natural Selection” which means that as nature changes, the organisms that are able to adapt the quickest are the ones that get to access necessary resources and are able to survive. Organisms that are able to adapt are the ones that can continue to reproduce while those that are not able to adapt will eventually die.

Materials

3 Clear Plastic Cups

Water

Cotton Balls

Vegetable Oil

Instructions

  1. Fill each cup with water.
  2. Place a dry cotton ball in the water and observe what happens.
  3. Dip a cotton ball in oil, making sure that half of the cotton ball remains dry.
  4. Place it in a second cup and observe what occurs.
  5. Place a cotton ball in oil, completely covering the entire cotton ball.
  6. Place it in the third cup and observe what happens.

What’s Happening?When the cotton ball is not covered in oil, it sinks to the bottom of the cup. When it has some oil on it, the oily portion flips to avoid the water but when the cotton ball is completely covered in oil it is able to float. With Ocean Birds, they produce oil that Coats their Feathers and this allows them to float on top of the water. If they did not have this oily coating they would sink like the cotton ball did. If they only had the oily coat on the feathers that were in the water, then they may have a hard time not flipping over. By having all of their Feathers coated in oil, they are able to comfortably and safely float on top of the water until they are ready to dive under to catch fish.

Interested in how animals adapt and evolve over time? Check out these neat online resources!

Ocn Scnce TpT VersionAnd Here is one from our classroom at Science-Lessons.ca: a 52-Card Playing Deck for Ocean Learning, includes 4 several games and completely downloadable for Print and Cut-out – Crazy Starfish! Go Snorkeling! Sea Cluster! and ?Hypothesy?Ordering:  Ocean Science: Ocean Creatures Playing Cards

Also, an updated and more improved version with Teachers Pay Teachers!

Our Learning Brain

Learning BrainTo Hypothesize; to speculate; to believe especially on uncertain or tentative grounds; the first step in the scientific process of providing proof of invented theory.  To Think; Famous Genius Hypathia of Alexandria (350/370-415 A.D.) was noted for saying, “Reserve your Right to Think, for to think wrongly is far better than to not think at all”.Our awesome Science Learning Book Our Learning Brain is Now Available in Printed Book Full Color with Amazon Books.

Blue Skeleton with BrainOur Learning Brain includes these 4 Great Games: Brain Buster Rummy; Crazy Connectors! (like Crazy 8’s); Contemplation! (like Solitaire and Patience); and Hypothesy! (An Old-Fashioned A & Q Game).  Cards are similar to a traditional playing deck of cards, with 4 suits of 13 cards, all with different facts about each category; and 4 card games; Suitable for Grades 5-10.  The games themselves, are easily comprehensible for the earlier grades, while the species identification aspects are brain teasers for the older grades.

CAUTION:  Once Students begin, they cannot stop Playing!

Now Available in Printed Book Full Color with  Amazon   Black & White Version; Printed Book Form Amazon  (Click on link for Book Form ordering)

Tasks include achieving Brain Anatomy Identification; Learning .  All Science Activities and Games are designed to achieve Elementary and Junior High School Level Science Requirements also including aspects of Mathematics & Communication. Scientifically Proven to Increase Memory & Cognition; Understanding physical properties, structures and changes of Earth materials and Living Organisms and the properties of rocks, soil, water, and air; Identifying and categorizing living organisms; Understanding how components, structures, organizations, and interconnections describe systems; Adding, Reasoning, memory problem solving, and communication; Work collaboratively, find solutions and perform tasks…

And also available through our Blue Butterfly Books site!

Have a Very Merry Christmas!  Happy Hannukah!  and a Warm Wonderful Winter Solstice!

Scientist Bob McDonald in Victoria, BC, November 22nd

Bob McDonald Quirks and Quarks wiki Nov 14From mad scientists, to lunar landings, to outrageous weapons, science is gracing the big screen. But just what’s plausible, capable, or already happening?

Join one of Canada’s best-known science journalists on November 22nd when the host of CBC’s Quirks & Quarks….http://thevic.ca/item/quirks-and-quarks

For more info about Bob McDonald’s CBC Radio show, visit here: http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/host/.  Bob’s Book is entitled:

 Measuring the Earth with a Stick: Science as I’ve seen it:

http://www.kidsbooks.ca/The-Quirks-&-Quarks-Guide-to-Space/Product.aspx?ProductID=121009&DeptID=0

http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/books/

Quirks N QuarksHis book, which was short-listed for the Canadian Science Writers Association Book Award, is a collection of essays reflecting on his 25 years as a science journalist.  Bob also hosted and wrote a children’s TV science series, Heads Up!, which ran for 3 seasons on TVO and the Knowledge Network. In addition, he is Chairman of the Board for Geospace Planetarium.  Here is Bob’s Science Blog:  http://www.cbc.ca/quirks/host/

For info on Our Awesome Science Learning Lesson Plans, Games and Activities, feel free to visit here:

http://www.science-lessons.ca/lesson-plans/index.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/brain.html

www.butterflybooks.ca

End of Summer Oceans Quiz

French Angelfish PairSince everyone has either had fun by the ocean side this summer, or still dreaming about being by the Ocean side, here is a Fun End of Summer Teaching Oceans Pop Quiz, to keep the Brain Fresh for the upcoming classes in the Fall!

1. Sea Turtles live in all the world’s oceans except the ____________.

2. Adult Turtles swim in shallow lagoons, feeding mostly on various species of ______________.

3. Clownfish are native to the warm waters of the ___________ and __________ Oceans.

4. _________ have two stomachs and therefore can hunt for larger animals than their mouth could otherwise handle.

5. Angelfish are ____________ animals, because they hide amongst the crevices of the reef by night.

6. Through the 19th century, the word “kelp” was closely associated with seaweeds that were fired to obtain __________ (primarily sodium carbonate).

7. Manatees use taste and smell, in addition to sight, sound, and touch, to_________.

8. Salmon eggs usually range from _____________ in color.

9. Clownfish are one of the few fish that are safe from sea ______________.

10. The ___________ is a marine mammal, the heaviest member of the weasel family.

11. When eating, the otter first uses ___________ to dislodge prey and to open shells.

12. Seahorses have an equine profile, meaning they look sort of like ________.

13. ____________ have vibrant rainbow colors and deep, sideway-flat bodies.

14. Before spawning, salmon may grow a hump and grow canine teeth like a dog, developing a_______, a curve in the jaws.

15. Like___________ , anemones have stinging cells.

16. When a shark is resting, it does not use its nostrils, but rather, its___________, tiny holes behind each eye.

17. A _________tail is paddle-shaped.

18. ________ are large seaweeds belonging to the brown algae family.

19. _________ are pink and silver fish from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and the Great Lakes.

20. Although corals can catch small fish and animals, they obtain most of their nutrients from photosynthetic unicellular_______.

21. __________ typically have five “arms” which radiate from a central disk.

22. __________ are slow-moving and live in warm, shallow, coastal waters, surviving above 15°C.

23. ____   ________ are related closely to coral and jellyfish.

24. _________ have proven problem-solving skills, social complexity and curiosity.

25. Coral have______ ; each one being like a tiny upside-down jellyfish with a shell.

26. ____ _______ “bob” around in sheltered areas such as sea grass beds, coral reefs, or mangroves.

QUIZ ANSWERS:

Angelfish

1. Arctic Ocean

2. Seagrass

3. Indian and Pacific

4. Sea Stars

5. Diurnal

6. soda ash

7. communicate

8. orange to red

9. Anemonae

10. sea otter

11. rocks

12. horses

13. Angelfish

14. Kype

15. Spiracles

16. jellyfish

17. manatee

18. Kelp

19. Salmon

20. algae

21. Starfish

22. Manatees

23. Sea Anenomae

24. Sharks

25. Polyps

26. Seahorses

If you really want to give yourselves an elementary science Brain-Squeeze this summer, here is an Oceans Quiz from National Geographics: http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/ocean-extremes-quiz/

Ocn Scnce TpT VersionAnd Here is one from our classroom at Science-Lessons.ca: a 52-Card Playing Deck for Ocean Learning, includes 4 several games and completely downloadable for Print and Cut-out – Crazy Starfish! Go Snorkeling! Sea Cluster! and ?Hypothesy?: Ordering:  Ocean Science: Ocean Creatures Playing Cards

Also, an updated and more improved version with Teachers Pay Teachers!

Septarian Nodules in The Earth’s Crust

Moeraki Boulders SunriseThis month’s Science focus is about a most interesting phenomena called a Spheroidal Concretion, and the special “animal” (though not an animal – or was it at one time?) is called a Septarian Nodule.  In their raw found forms, one might think that they are eggs, with a living creature inside awaiting to hatch – or that maybe they are sediment space shuttles that came from outer space.  Because of their interesting looks, they are also known as Dragon Eggs.  They formed during the Cretaceous period, about 50-70 million years ago.  Many of these facts, we learned this weekend from a rock show organized by the Victoria Lapidiary Society.  Helpful participants were Fossil Grotto from Duncan, BC, and Stone Haven Gems.  We learned a lot!

Concretions are rounded rocks embedded in layers of stone in sedimentary rocks, often they are harder than the surrounding stone, and whether out of the host rock; http://www.rocksforkids.com/R&M/concretions.html#Septarian_Nodules.  They are a hard mass of sedimentary rocked compacted tightly at one time, by way of the precipitation of mineral cement, that has grown spaces between the sediment grains – outward in 7 directions.  The sedimentary rock nodules are kind of mineralized calcified encased “mud”, made up of calcite and ironstone.  There are 2 basic stages of development that are shown in the photos here:(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concretion; Moeraki Boulders; Septarian Nodule; photos drawn March 17, 2014 ) caused by networks of cracks in which the minerals, usually calcite (CaCo3 – Calcium Carbonite – in the Periodic Table, Calcium, Carbon and Oxygen) been deposited into the solution before hardening.  Prior to the depositing of minerals, the cavities are filled with ironstone; (Melody, EARTH-LOVE Publishing House; Love is In The Earth – Kaleidoscope pictorial, 1998; pp. 282-283).

Septarian NoduleOn a metaphysical level, these beauties are said to filter dreams and keep only good ones around a person, such as is with dream catchers, and thus good to keep near a sleep space.   Also used to facilitate neuro-linguistic programming, instilling patience, endurance and tolerance to a person; freedom of body movement supporting the body’s self-healing abilities.  (Melody; 1998). Melody, a most fantastic source in the world of minerals and crystals, says it can be placed in the centre of Medicine Circles, facilitating Connection and Harmony.

Questions to ask Learners in your Classroom:  What causes minerals to migrate to a centre and become harder?  What are their true origins?  Can you find septarian nodules in your backyard?  Or are they only in one part area of the Earth?

For Fun Learning and Teaching activities and games, feel free to visit here:

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/mammals.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/space.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/weather8.htm

http://www.literature-enrichment.com/

Interesting links from the Victoria Lapidiary Rock Show we visited:

Victoria Lapidiary and Mineral Society: http://www.islandnet.com/~vlms/.

Fossil Grotto: http://www.caves.org/grotto/ccg/um/2012_03_um.pdf.

Stone Haven Gems: http://www.stonehavengems.com/septarian-nodule-pebble/.

 

 

 

 

 

Making Your own Orgonite Generator

Crystal Blue MSCLArtFirst, a bit about What is Orgone?  And What is an Orgonite Generator?  Orgone energy is a hypothetical universal life force that was first known coined by a 1930’s scientist named Wilhelm Reich.  An Orgonite Generator is a homemade device using a container of inorganic and organic materials, that is designed to turn negative energy into positive uplifting energy, in general.  http://www.orgonite.info/what-is-orgonite.html.   Reich was experimenting with collecting different forms of energy to make positive generators.  In its final conception, developed by Reich’s student Charles Kelly after Reich, Orgone was conceived as the anti-entropic principle of the universe, a creative substratum in all of nature comparable to Mesmer’s animal magnetism. Orgone is regarded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine as a type of “putative energy. There is no empirical support for the concept of orgone in medicine or the physical sciences, and research into the concept ceased with the end of the Institute.  www.orgonite.info  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orgone.  Though it is notable, however, that famous scientists such as Galileo, Hypathia, Tesla and  Pythagoras, but to name a few, were also refuted as having no empirical support – including all those who first claimed the Earth to be round and not flat!

Making your own Orgonite Muffins are Easy to Make at in-class or at home, Materials needed are:

Beezwax or EcoEpoxy Resin

Large Stir Spoon

Small crystals, even the smallest is great

2 kinds of scrap metals such as copper shavings (look around in your Mom and Dad’s garage or ask your teacher or local welder for some scraps)

a bit of paper and tape

Muffin Pan

For more instructions, visit here:  http://beeswax-orgone.com/make-an-orgone/; and here:  http://www.orgonite.info/how-to-make-orgonite-hhgs.html.

Orgonite Generators are said to turn negative energy into positive energy, purify the atmosphere, detoxify water, ends drought, help plants grow better, repel pests, require less water, Inspire a pleasant demeanor and balanced, happier moods, and help awaken your innate senses.  We first made one with paper and a bit of goldleaf, our compass, ruler and marker – drawing on the paper, a geometric flower of life, adding positive words.  We felt it generating positive energy and so thought it was an orgonite generator.  To truly test our generator we would have to first make a blank one with the gold, one with the flower of life, one with tiny words on it, and one without, and test each one in the garden to see if it attracts life, or if the flowers around it perk up!  Then, to document all of that!  But then, we read that Reich’s devices were said to “generate” only when in a container.  Otherwise they only “accumulated” the energy – hence, we believe what we made is an orgone accumulator (adding together inorganic and organic materials). Besides not being contained in a container with beeswax or EcoEpoxy, ours only had one kind of metal, and had no crystals.  So our next step is to make the Eco-Epoxy muffins!

Wilhelm Reich CloudbusterHere is a photo of one of Reich’s generators designed to do cloudbusting and make rainfall.  (Photo: Extracted January 28, 2014 from: www. Wikipedia. Org / wiki / orgone.)  People who make homemade orgonite generators have we believe, good intentions – putting positive feelings into our environments.  Though, unfortunately, most generators have been made with epoxy fiberglass resin, that is reportedly not very good at all for the environment, in general.  Thus, our personal concern is whether crystals “like” being encapsulated in epoxy (as it is also apparent that crystals are living and have feelings!  Our sense is they would not like being encapsulated in a non-eco-friendly substance.  So…..we searched and found alternatives that are earth-friendly.  3 Eco-alternatives:

1. Beeswax.  Yellow Gold in color. http://beeswax-orgone.com/make-an-orgone/.

2. EcoEpoxy.  Clear in color and others.  http://www.earthsafefinishes.com/EcoEpoxy.html.

3. Ecopoxy.   Amber in color. http://ecopoxysystemscanada.com/.

http://www.westwindhardwood.com/products/ecopoxy/intro.php.

Our friend who makes generators at home, says, if you are wondering if an orgone device works or not try testing it on something that can re-act to your orgone device like a plant or lizard or other animal.  Testing may take minutes, hours, days or a week for optimal results.  Try taking digital pictures of the subject being tested to document it.  He says his generators makes his plants grow faster and greener and attracts interesting wildlife like frogs and lizards.  He also writes words on his like Love Peace Harmony Compassion Forgiveness Happiness and Oneness.

And we like this person’s Kirlian photos (infrared photo-technology), also forwarded to us by our friend Kevin.  Way cool.  🙂  http://www.orgoniseafrica.com/blog/improving-orgonite.  Are we, as human beings, orgonite generator? If we have contained within our bodies, more than one metal, organic and inorganic material, would we not also orgonite generators?  We would say yes, to an extent, though we do not contain non-carbon based crystals.  Crystals, are a different kind of life form on Planet Earth.    What about if wear a crystal, then?  Hmmmmm.  Good Science Questions.  Be sure and clean and care for your crystal, if you choose to wear one.  We believe Crystals have Feelings too!

Other sources of information on Orgone Generators:

For more interesting and Fun Science Activities and Games, feel Free to visit:

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/weather3.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/brain.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/space.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/ocean.html

 

Shaken Butter

In chemistry, the term physical change implies that a substance is changing form, like when water freezes to form ice. The water has not changed its identity, only its appearance from a liquid to a solid. Physical processes like shaking, hitting or even chewing can help things change their form. For example, when we chew our food, chewing (a physical process) helps us to make food easier to swallow by making it into a liquid. In this activity students will use shaking (a physical process) to transform a liquid (heavy whipping cream) into a solid.

In this activity, students will observe how physical processes like shaking can cause things to change.  Materials:

Small glass jar with lid (baby food jars are the best)

Heavy whipping cream

Instructions: 1. Fill each jar about three-quarters of the way full.

2. Tightly seal each jar with its lid.

3. Shake the jar for 10-15 minutes or until the whipping cream has solidified.

 How It Works:  When the jar is shaken the particles are forced close together. A few particles clump together and soon, with all the shaking more and more particles clump together until most of are in a solid.

Discussion Questions to Ask:  What did we add into the jar?

  • What did we do to change the heavy whipping cream?
  • When was the whipping cream a liquid?
  • When was the whipping cream a solid?

Did you know that cooking is a chemical and a physical process? Exploring other food processes like making cheese, baking bread, even making a cake are easy ways to introduce the concept of physical and chemical changes. Chemistry is not just only in the lab or taught during science class. It is important to help young students recognize chemistry concepts inside and outside of the classroom. For more information on how to teach young students about chemical and physical change, visit: http://acswebcontent.acs.org/scienceforkids/index.html#Reactions

For some of our Fun Learning Science games such as How to Become a Teenage Genius by playing Our Learning Brain, you can visit here:

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/brain.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/forceenergy.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/weatherbingo4.html

http://www.literature-enrichment.com/

 

Plant a Butterfly Garden! And 4 Free Guides and Lesson Plans!

Planting a Butterfly Garden is a Gift Free to All Ages from National Geographic IMAX!  The following is the 1st Free Download (see bottom of of this article).  Following this are 3 others including: Grade 7-12 Learning Guide; Flight of The Butterflies (79 pp); And, also in Spanish!  See Below!

Objective: Students will plan and plant a garden in their schoolyard.

Background: Planning and planting a butterfly garden is a positive action that your students can take to help provide monarchs and other insects with resources they need to survive.  In addition, they will work together on a long-term project, planning where and when to plant their garden, deciding what equipment and supplies they will need and actually planting seeds or seedlings.  Since butterfly gardening is becoming more and more popular, you may be able to visit an existing garden with your students to get ideas.  Other resources include our references, garden supply stores and conservation and gardening organizations.  Many schools work with a Master Gardener in their area in planning and caring for a school butterfly garden.

In this lesson, we include suggestions for creating a school garden.  Many of the ideas and information come from an article by Jennifer Goodwin Smith in the January 1995 issue of Science and Children (p. 29-32).  She planned and planted a school butterfly garden with sixth and seventh graders in Maryland and wrote the article to make it easier for others to do similar projects.

National Geographic IMAX  Flight of The Butterflies Trailer: http://www.imaxvictoria.com/trailers/index.cfm?trailerURL=http://destinationcinema.net/tcvideo/FOTBTrailer.flv.

Key Concepts:

• Gardens provide a habitat for many organisms.

• Humans can help preserve and cre-ate habitats for organisms.

• Seeds have various requirements for germination.

• Garden plants are either annuals or perennials.

Skills:

• Read for information

• Create representative drawings and symbols

• Use a scale measurement ratio

• Use a scale drawing to plant and identify flowers in a garden

Materials:

• Graph paper for planning garden layout

• Seed catalogs, gardening magazines, butterfly guides, books on butterfly gardens

• Seeds or seedlings

• Gardening supplies (soil, fertilizer, shovels, rake, hoe)

• Containers in which to start seeds (yogurt containers, egg cartons, nursery flats)

Step 1: Planning to Plant

1. Get permission from school administration and maintenance personnel.  It is especially important to gain the support of the people who maintain the grounds.

2. Discuss how butterflies and other insects use plants, and how they need special plants at different times in their life cycle.

3. Discuss the work involved in a garden, including maintaining the garden during the summer and raising money for seeds and other materials.  Also brainstorm benefits of a garden (such as decreased noise and air pollution from reduced mowing, reduced soil erosion, a beautiful garden, food and shelter for many organisms).

4. Develop a timeline for the garden. If you start from seed, you will need at least three months.  A good timeline is:

•           First month: get administrative support, choose a site, hold fund-raisers if necessary, order seeds, germinate seeds.

•           Second month: monitor seedling growth, design the garden.

•           Third month: prepare garden site, transplant seedlings.

5. Decide on the criteria you will use to judge a site.  Important considerations include available sunlight, level of foot traffic, visibility to school and community and vulnerability to vandalism.

Step 2: Planning the Garden

1. Choose the plants that you will use.  Sources of information include seed catalogs, gardening magazines, books about butterflies and butterfly gardening, and other resources.

2. Encourage students to choose plants that bloom at different times.  Perennials are good since they only have to be planted once, but including an area for annuals will allow future classes to participate in planting each year.  Also consider plant height, color and length of blooming time.

3. Make suggestions as to the garden design, such as choosing colors that blend and making sure all plants are visible (i.e., tall in back, short in front).

4. Plan the garden together, using graph paper to draw a plan of what you will plant where.

Step 3: Starting Seedlings

1. Buy seeds (or plan where you will buy potted plants).  Sources include gardening catalogs, hardware stores and nurseries.  You may want to plan to use a combination of seeds and purchased plants.  Plants should not be purchased until it is time to plant the garden.

2. Have students bring in yogurt containers, foam egg cartons and other containers in which to start seeds.  You can buy, borrow or ask for donations of potting soil, fertilizer, straw, shovels, a rake, and a hoe.

3. Plant seeds.  Punch a small hole in the bottom of containers, fill with soil, bury seeds according to instructions and place containers on trays to catch extra water.  Students should be responsible for caring for their plants.  They can also measure plant growth, ger¬mination time, and other variables and keep track of their progress in a science journal or lab notebook.

4. Keep seedlings in a sunny window or under grow lights.

5. After 4 to 6 weeks, seedlings will be ready to transplant.

Step 4: Planting the Garden

1. Prepare the soil.  Turn it over and add some fertilizer.

2. Plant seedlings outdoors.  Make sure danger of frost is past.

3. Apply mulch to prevent soil erosion, maintain soil moisture and slow weed growth.

4. Set up a schedule for garden maintenance as a class.  Tasks may include watering, weeding and replacing mulch.

5. Set up a time to observe the garden once a week.  Keep track of what plants are present, which are blooming and what insects are seen in the garden.

6. Clarify a no pesticide policy.

7. Make a plan for caring for the garden over the summer.  Parents are often happy to help, especially if they have been involved in planning the garden.  The more people are involved, the less likely your garden will become a burden for a small number of people.

NationalGeographic IMAX Free Classroom Butterfly Lesson Plan Guides!

Classroom Activities – Flight of the Butterflies – All Age Groups

Classroom Activities – Flight of the Butterflies – Grade 7 to Grade 12

Educator Guide – Complete for All Ages – Flight of the Butterflies -sm   (79 pp)

And in Spanish!

Spanish – El Vuelo de las Monarca – Guia del Educador – 11.1.12 – FINAL

Other Great Butterfly Learning Resource Links:

Our Favorite:  The Karner Blue Butterfly Recovery Program, in New York:

http://www.albanypinebush.org/conservation/wildlife-management/karner-blue-butterfly-recovery.

Wilton Preserve Blue Karner Recovery:

http://www.wiltonpreserve.org/conservation/karner-blue-butterfly.

Nature Conservancy Karner Blue Recovery

http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/indiana/journeywithnature/karner-blue-butterfly-1.xml.

Nature Conservancy of Canada Karner Blue Recovery

http://www.natureconservancy.ca/en/what-we-do/resource-centre/featured-species/karner_blue.html.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

http://spotabutterfly.com/.

New Mexico Butterflies

http://www.nmnaturalhistory.org/300seconds-butterflies.html?searched=butterflies&advsearch=oneword&highlight=ajaxSearch_highlight+ajaxSearch_highlight1.

And for other Fun Learning Science Games, we invite you to visit here:

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/ocean.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/space.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/brain.html

 http://www.literature-enrichment.com/

And Our New High School and College Study Guides (All Supporting The Recovery of The Karner Blue Butterfly!:

Pass the Nelson Denny: Complete Study Guide and Practice Test Questions:

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Pass the PSB COMPLETE Health Occupations Aptitude Exam Study Guide and Practice Test Questions:

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Practice the HOBET V!: Health Occupations Basic Entrance Test Practice Questions:

http://www.amazon.com/Practice-HOBET-Occupation-Entrance-Questions/dp/1479104000.

 

 

 

Love Chemistry: Liquids and Solids

Furthering and expanding our discussion on solubles, the in between liquid and physical state, here is another fun activity to try in the classroom.  Solids and liquids are generally easy to recognize. For example, slippery and wet items are usually liquids, like water, liquid soap, even blood. Solids are usually hard and easy to hold like a bowl, spoon, or even dirt. Solids have strong attractions between their molecules that keep them stuck together whereas liquids have some attraction between their particles, but the attraction is more flexible, allowing the particles to slide across each other. It is not always that easy to identify a liquid and a solid when they are happening at the same time. What happens if something is both a liquid and a solid?

In this activity students will explore the differences between a liquid and a solid.

Materials:

Cornstarch

Water

Large Mixing Bowl

Measuring cups (1 cup and ½ cup)

Instructions

  1. Pour the cornstarch (1 cup) into the bowl. Identify that it is a solid.
  2. Add ½ cup water to the bowl with the cornstarch. Identify that it is a solid.
  3. Mix the mixture, either with a large spoon, but fingers work great too.
  4. Let students explore the texture, grabbing handfuls and squeezing the mixture and then releasing.

How It Works:

This mixture seems to have both properties of a solid and a liquid simultaneously. This is because when pressure is applied, like when it is squeezed, the particles are forced close together. When the particles are closer together they begin to temporarily attract and attach to each other forming what chemists call “weak intermolecular forces”. What happens when the pressure is released? The solid seems to melt right before your eyes. This is because now the particles are not forced so closely together and are not as attracted and attached to each other and are able to flow like a liquid usually does.

Chemistry is an easy topic to teach to students of all ages, especially elementary school students as they are often very curious about how things change over time. Even looking at the leaves change in the Fall is an example of Chemistry. For more science teaching techniques from the National Science Teachers Association, visit: http://www.nsta.org/about/positions/elementary.aspx   or

http://www.chemistry.manchester.ac.uk/outreach/secondary/shows-lab-visits/solids-liquids-gases/

And for other Fun Learning Science Games, We Invite you to visit any of these pages:

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/weatherbingo4.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/space.html

http://www.science-lessons.ca/games/brain.html

 http://www.literature-enrichment.com/