Life Lab

Life Lab cultivates children's love of learning, healthy food, and nature through garden-based education.


Originally Written for Fourth Grade

Explore the interactions and physical properties of a habitat or ecosystem while applying the skills necessary for science investigation of water, nutrient cycles, food webs, and light. 4th grade consists of 8 modules with lab pages in English and Spanish.

View 4th Grade Teacher Guide for a table of contents of all modules, scope & sequence, and gardening appendices.

$2.00 per Module – PDF Download

Life Lab Science was written to align with previous national science standards. We have grouped the following units in their original grade level band. These suggested grade levels may or may not align with your current grade level content.

Each module download includes a letter to parents to prepare for the module, a song, multiple lessons, and appendices/lab pages in English and Spanish.

Return to all K-5 Units Page

Interactions (Originally Written for Fourth Grade)

Theme: Students practice problem-solving skills as they trace how organisms interact with each other and with their physical surroundings. 

Science Explorations: Students explore the give and take that occurs between humans, living and nonliving things, and all living things as they meet their survival needs. 

Process Skills: Students work cooperatively to observe how people, plants, animals, and their physical surroundings are related and to communicate what they discover. 

Life Science: All living things interact with each other and with their environment to obtain the resources they need to survive. 

Earth Science: Soil, water, air, and light are natural resources that most living things depend on for survival. 

Physical Science: The physical properties of matter can be changed by interactions with living and non living agents and forces. 

Science, Technology, and Society: One way humans interact is through communicating with each other. Scientists depend on good communication to share ideas.

From the moment we fill our lungs with air for our first new born wail, we are constantly interacting with the world around us. As gentle as a breeze sifting pollen from a flower, as violent as a predator-prey battle, as dramatic as a thunderstorm, or as far-reaching as the jolt of light beams on molecules of chloro­phyll, interactions define the condition of life on our planet. 

This unit introduces students to the year’s in-depth investiga­tions of these dynamic cycles and connections. Using fourth graders’ curiosity about how the natural world works, the lessons that follow challenge students to discover the give and take that links the living and physical worlds. Throughout the year, students will develop new skills in relating and organizing information that will help them understand the connections they discover. The year is filled with hands-on experiences and experiments that explore how organisms rely on each other and the physical environment for food, nutrients, water, shelter, and room to grow and reproduce. With this concrete underpinning, students can better understand what happens when the food webs and water, nutrients, and other cycles that sustain a habitat are disrupted. They are also encouraged to take part in a year-long Endangered Species Project so that they can use their new understanding to help preserve a threatened species. 

Of course, much of the fun of discovery comes from working together and communicating with other people. Science relies on cooperation, and many of the activities in this first unit are cooperative games or projects that involve interactions among classmates. Encouraging the development of cooperative skills will help students realize how people depend on each other, as well as facilitate classroom management and enhance students’ joy in learning.

Iv- Song: “Take the Time to Wonder” 

1- Introduction 

2- Student Goals

3- Activity Chart 

4- Unit Planner

6- Recommended Literature 

8- Parent Letter 

9- Garden Links (identifying interactions) 

13- All Tied Up In Knots (using communication

for problem solving) 

16- Unlikely Pairs (exploring physical properties) 

19- Discovery Center: Acting Together

( investigating physical forces)

23- Habitat Hike (observing interactions in a

micro habitat)

27- All My Relations (observing interactions

over time)

31- Garden Picture Web (illustrating


34- Endangered Species Project (researching

endangered species) 

36- Assessment Checklist 

Student Lab Book Section

Lab Sheets

40- Calendar 

Pre Assessment: What Do You Know

41- About Interactions? 

43- All Tied Up In Knots

44- Unlikely Pairs

45- Acting Together

47- Garden Picture Web

48- Post Assessment:Making the Connections 

49- Field Log 

1- Magic Spot 

2- Reflections from a Naturalist’s Field Log

3- Observation Page 

4- Garden Links 

5- Habitat Hike 

7- All My Relations 

53- Life Lab Beat 

57- Index 

Habitats (Originally Written For Fourth grade)

Theme: Students explore how the plants and animals in a habi­tat interact with each other and respond to the conditions of their habitat. 

Science Explorations: Students investigate how factors of tem­perature, moisture, and light determine the conditions of a habitat. 

Process Skills: Students organize measurements and observa­tions to understand the relationships within a habitat.

Life Science: Living things use their habitat’s resources in dif­ferent ways and amounts. Organisms within a habitat interact with each other. 

Earth Science: Soil is a habitat. The organisms that live in soil and the nutrient cycles that occur in soil affect the whole habitat. 

Physical Science: The amount of light, moisture, and heat helps to determine what lives in a habitat. Habitat interactions can result in changes in the state or properties of matter. 

Science, Technology, and Society: Human actions can destroy habitats or alter the interactions within them. 

A habitat is more than the sum of its parts. In the habitat of a child’s neighborhood, a casual passerby does not see the secret hiding places, the neighbors good for a cookie or chat, the nice and mean dogs, the hills that defeat a bicycle, the hangouts and houses of friends and relatives, and all the other links that embroider a child’s life within a community. 

In much the same way, natural habitats are a tapestry of nooks and crannies that are home and sustenance to birds, insects, mammals, mosses, fungi, worms, crustaceans, mollusks, flower­ing plants, bacteria, millipedes, centipedes, reptiles, and more. Cut down a tree or strip away topsoil and the homes and livelihoods of many organisms are lost. Not so obvious are the structural changes to the web of interactions among plants and animals and the changes in physical relationships-water flow, moisture, light, soil particles, and the other conditions that define a habitat and what lives there. 

Many students will know that a habitat is a home that provides food, water, shelter and living space for a plant or animal. In this unit, students expand on their knowledge, exploring how plants and animals interact with their habitat to meet their survival needs and respond to the habitat’s physical challenges.

Tying these investiga­tions to the Endangered Species Project will personally connect students to the plants, animals, and landscape of a habitat and weave their lives into the fate of a larger neighbor­hood.

Iv. Song: “Everything Needs a Home” 

1- Introduction 

2- Student Goals 

3- Activity Chart 

4- Unit Planner

6- Recommended Literature

8- Parent Letter

9- Look Lively (examining habitats)

Discovery Center: Habitat Riddles

13- creating plants and animals

17- Growing Conditions (experimenting with variables affecting plant growth)

23- Mystery Habitats (investigating microhabitats)

26- Worm Race (experimenting with worms to infer habitat needs)

29- Clean Sweep (observing habitat changes)

33- Living Dangerously (role playing habitat resources and population needs)

37- Homing In (creating habitat brochures for garden animals)

40- Endangered Species Project (selecting an endangered species for year-long study)

43- Assessment Checklist

Student Lab Book Section

Lab Sheets

46- Calendar

47- Preassessment: What Do You Know About Habitats?

48- Growing Conditions

53- Plant Labels

54- Mystery Habitats

55- Habitats and Microhabitats

56- Worm Race

59- Postassessment: Making the Connections

61- Field Log

1- Reflections from a Naturalist’s Field Long

2- Look Lively

5- Clean Sweep

65- Life Lab Beat: Focus on Habitats

69- Index

Water Interactions (Originally Written For Fourth grade)

Theme: Students construct water’s interactions as it cycles through habitats. 

Science Explorations: Students experiment with the properties and states of water and begin to explore the water cycle. 

Process Skills: Students use measuring and organizational skills to relate the properties of water to its role in the environ­ment. 

Life Science: All living things need water. Plants transpire water into the air. 

Earth Science: Water moves through the water cycle. It carries solutes and other materials necessary for life. 

Physical Science: Water’s chemical structure determines its unique properties. Water can exist as a solid, liquid, and gas at the temperatures that support life. 

Science-Technology-Society: Humans have a responsibility to consider how their actions and wastes affect the water they and other organisms use. 

All living things depend on water. It is a key component of all habitats and can often be the limiting factor that determines what can live in an area. Plants and animals that survive in a dry habitat have adapted protective devices to conserve water: a cactus has thick waxy leaves to minimize transpiration; a camel can go a few days without water to drink. 

Water is the natural world’s magician; it is always present but wears different costumes, one of which is a cloak of invisibility. Water is the only substance on earth to exist as a solid, liquid, and gas at ambient temperatures. As a liquid, it is a major com­ponent of all Planet Earth: It is the chief constituent of cells, covers three-quarters of the world’s surface, and is home to most of the world’s lifeforms. As a solid, it is a reservoir: Fresh water is stored in ice caps, glaciers, and snow cover. As a gas, it disappears: Water becomes a vapor and is purified in the process; to concrete learners, this is the hardest disguise to pen­etrate. The activities and extensions in this unit give students many opportunities to explore all states of water in hands-on investigations that take students’ own experiences as a starting point. 

The study of water is ideal for expanding the garden’s Living Laboratory to include the physical and earth sciences. The inter­actions of the water cycle also offer excellent data-collecting activities because students can easily control and measure vari­ables such as temperature and water amounts at the start and finish of an experiment.

Teacher Resource Section

Iv- Song: “Water Cycle Boogie”

1- Introduction

2- Student Goals

3- Activity Chart

4- Unit Planner

5- Recommended Literature

8- Parent Letter

9- Water Hunt (finding and tracing water sources)

12- Discovery Center: Water Puzzle (exploring evaporation and condensation)

16- Small Worlds ( creating and monitoring open and closed terrariums)

20- Invisible Water (experimenting with hygrometers)

24- Leaf Water (experimenting with transpiration)

29- Sticky Water (experimenting with properties of cohesion and adhesion)

32- Upward Bound (experimenting with water flow in plants)

35- Water-Go-Round (role playing the life of a water drop)

38- Endangered Species Project (researching how adopted species use water)

41- Assessment Checklist

Student Lab Book Section Lab Sheets 

44- Calendar

45- Preassessment: What Do You Know About Water?

47- Water Puzzle

52- Small Worlds

56- Invisible Water

59- Moist Air Meter

63-Sticky Water

71-Upward Bound

74- Postassessment: Making the Connections

75- Field Log

1- Reflections from a Naturalist’s Field Log

2- Water Hunt

4- Leaf Water

6- Observation Page

79- Life Lab Beat: Focus On Water

83- Index

Nutrient Interactions (Originally Written For Fourth grade)

Theme: Students explore the interactions by which plants obtain the nutrients they need from soil and use these building blocks to create nutrients animals need. 

Science Explorations: Students investigate how dead matter is decomposed and recycled as nutrients for plants and animals. 

Process Skills: Students observe decomposition and test soils and foods for nutrients in order to relate decomposition to plant and human nutrition.

Life Science: All living things need nutrients in order to grow and survive. 

Earth Science: Rocks and dead matter are broken down by weathering and decomposition cycles into substances plants can use as nutrients. 

Physical Science: As organic matter breaks down by decompo­sition, heat energy is given off. 

Science, Technology, and Society: The natural cycle of decom­position is important for plant and human nutrition. If the cycle is broken, the health of living things can suffer.

Put your ear up close to a well-fed tummy and take in the com­fortable rumbles of a meal in its final stages of digestion. From the minute it enters your mouth, your meal is smashed, mashed, liquefied, acidified, and enzymatically chopped into molecular bits that your body will use as energy or as building blocks to make more of you. The leftovers provide a feast for the gut bacteria that do the final processing before returning the remains of your meal to the earth. 

Now run your hand through rich, organic soil and feel a plant’s digestive system. While our bodies surround and include our digestive system, plants are separate from but literally immersed in a key part of theirs-the soil. The cycles and inter­actions by which rock is weathered into soil and dead matter is broken down into molecules are much like the process by which we digest the food we get, directly or indirectly, from plants. Plants use the sun’s energy to make food-sugars, starches, and oils-but they rely on the soil to provide them with the minerals and nutrients they need for a well-balanced diet. In turn, we rely on plants for our nutrients-minerals, the amino acids that make up proteins, and most vitamins. 

This unit explores the interactions that connect human and plant nutrition. You and your students are in for an unusual feast as you use students’ favorite foods to investigate the interactions that transform waste products into new organisms. The Field Log pages provide extension activities for interested groups of students.

iv- Song: “Decomposition”

1- Introduction 

2- Student Goals 

3- Activity Chart 

4- Unit Planner 

6- Recommended Literature 

8- Parent Letter 

9- Breakdown! (exploring decomposition)

12- Discovery Center: Label It! (categorizing


16- Rot-A-Rama I (experimenting with compost)

20- Moldy Oldies (relating decomposition to

the recycling of nutrients) 

24- Uptake (investigating the transport of nutrients)

28- Rot-a-Rama II (analyzing compost to understand factors influencing decomposition.)

31- See Vitamin C (experimenting with VitaminC ) 

34- Snack-a-Thon (tracing sources of nutrients) 

37- Endangered Species Project (developing

an information packet) 

39- Assessment Checklist Student Lab Book Section

Lab Sheets

42- Calendar Preassessment: What Do You Know

43- About Nutrients? 

45- Breakdown! 

51- Discovery Center: Label It! 

53- Rot-a-Rama I

56- Moldy Oldies 

59- Uptake 

62- Rot-a-Rama II 

64- See Vitamin C 

68- Postassessment: Making the Connections

69- Field Log 

1- Reflections from a Naturalist’s Field Log 

2- Who’s For Dinner?

4- The Soil Makers

6- Decomposers are Our Friends

7- Decomposers I Have Known 

8- Garbage 

73- Life Lab Beat: Focus on Nutrients 

77- Index 

Light Interactions (Originally Written For Fourth grade)

Theme: Students investigate earth as a solar-powered planet, dependent on sunlight for light energy. 

Science Explorations: Students explore properties of light and use the results to investigate how plants and animals use light. 

Process Skills: Students relate properties of light to their inves­tigations into how plants and animals use light.

Life Science: Green plants use light energy to make their food and produce oxygen. Animals’ eyes respond to reflected or emitted light, enabling them to see. 

Earth Science: Sunlight interacts with the atmosphere and objects on the earth. 

Physical Science: Light transfers energy from the source that emits it to the object that absorbs it. Most surfaces reflect, trans­mit, and absorb some of the light that hits them. 

Science, Technology, and Society: The study of the properties of light has led to the invention of all kinds of devices, includ­ing eyeglasses, magnifying lenses, microscopes, and telescopes.

In contemplating the interactions that take place in an ecosystem, it is impossible to . think of one interaction as being more important than another for maintaining life on earth. Water and nutrients are needed to cycle through the system, as students have learned. Light is another key interaction one that is perhaps taken for granted. The source of light for earth is the sun. However, whether light is traveling from the sun millions of miles away or from a nearby flash light, it behaves, interacts, and reacts in predictable ways. Two properties of light, reflection and refraction, can be observed when looking at a clump of reeds in still, clear water. On the surface of the water can be seen an upside-down picture of the reeds, along with the sky above. Light travels from the reeds and sky and is reflected by the surface of the water up into the eyes. Looking into the water, one can see the stems of the reeds, and it may seem odd that the reeds appear to bend where they break the surface. Light rays passing from one substance to another are bent, or refracted. Light rays coming from the reeds beneath the water bend as they pass from the water to the air. 

Through hands-on activities in the first part of the unit, stu­dents will explore some of the basic properties of light. Then they will begin an investigation into the importance of light to living organisms. Light not only gives animals the capacity to see, but it is the energy source for most food on the planet. Light energy absorbed by plants initiates the process by which most plants make food. During this chemical reaction (photo­synthesis), plants release oxygen into the air, providing the oxygen that all animals need to breathe. As students gain an appreciation for the many important interactions of light energy, perhaps they will “see it in a new light” and not take it for granted again.

III- ​​Table of Contents 

Teacher Resource Section

Iv- Song: “Soil, Sun, Water and Air” 

1- Introduction 

2- Student Goals

3- Activity Chart 

4- Unit Planner 

6- Recommended Literature 

8- Parent Letter

9- Light Riddles (formulating and solving

Riddles about light) 

12- Let There Be Light ( investigating properties

of light) 

16- Light Plays (group presentations using light

for special effects)

20- Color World (experimenting with color) 

25- Light Action (experimenting with light) 

30- Do You See What I See? (exploring light

and vision) 

33- Do They See What We See? (exploring

vision variations in the animal kingdom) 

36- Lightning Round (revising and solving

light riddles) 

39- Endangered Species Project (exploring the

effects of light on plants and animals) 

42- Assessment Checklist 

Student Lab Book Section

Lab Sheets

46- Calendar

Preassessment: What Do You Know

47- About Light? 

48- Light Riddles 

54- Discovery Center: Let There Be Light

62- Light Plays

63- Color World 

70- Light Action 

73- Do You See WhatI See? 

79- Lightning Round 

Postassessment: Making the

80- Connections 

81- Field Log 

1- Reflections from a Naturalist’s Field Log 

2- Light Writing 

3- Sun Dial 

5- Reflected-Refracted-Absorbed

7- Do They See What We See? 

85- Life Lab Beat: Focus on Light 

90- Index 

Food Webs (Originally Written For Fourth grade)

Theme: Students investigate how food webs link organisms within a habitat. 

Science Explorations: Students explore how organisms interact in food webs to transfer food energy. 

Process Skills: Students observe and model food webs in order to relate them to food energy transfer. 

Life Science: Most living things get the energy and nutrients they need in order to survive through food chains consisting of green plants as food producers, animals as consumers, and decomposers as recyclers. 

Earth Science: Food webs rely on decomposers to recycle nutrients. 

Physical Science: In addition to minerals and other building blocks, food contains the sun’s stored energy, which is trans­ferred through food webs. With each interaction in a food web, less usable energy is available to the consumer. 

Science, Technology, and Society: Humans can affect food webs with pollution and habitat destruction.

Food webs exemplify the interconnections within habitats. These feeding relationships are the mechanisms by which the sun’s energy is transferred from green plants to plant eaters to the ani­mals that prey on them and on each other. All of these energy transfer mechanisms use energy themselves. Only about 1 per­cent of the light that falls on a plant is used in photosynthesis to create the carbohydrates that start the food chain. Animals that eat the plants use only about 10 percent of the energy stored within the plant to sustain them; the rest is used to fuel the animal’s activities and body maintenance and is given off as heat. If you treat yourself to some aerobic exercise, you will feel the heat generated as your food energy is burned. All that heat even­tually radiates back into space and is not available to energize any stray predator you may encounter. While energy is not recy­cled, the elements that make up each organism are, thanks to decomposers, which break down complex molecules into miner­als plants can use to restart the chain of life. 

In previous units, students have investigated two major parts of food webs: the decomposition that takes place as part of the nutri­ent cycle (Nutrient Interactions unit) and the energy source of pho­tosynthesis (Light Interactions unit). In this unit, students integrate concepts investigated earlier as they review simple food chains before moving on to food webs, the richer, more complex interac­tions that are involved when animals have several food sources.

Teacher Resource Section

Iv- Song: “We’re Animals”

1- Introduction 

2- Student Goals 

3- Activity Chart 

4- Unit Planner

6- Recommended Literature 

8- Parent Letter 

9- Keep Me Running (demonstrating how food

Provides energy) 

12- Food Chain (investigating favorite foods) 

16- Sun Food (investigating how plants make food) 

21- What’s for Dinner? (exploring animals’

adaptations for eating) 

25- Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

(experimenting with decomposition)

29- Animal Detective (identifying food webs of

Garden animals) 

33- Pass It Up the Line ( investigating toxins in

food chains)

37- Tied Together (creating a food web) 

40- Endangered Species Project (investigating

food webs of endangered species)

42- Assessment Checklist 

Student Lab Book Section

Lab Sheets

46- Calendar 

Preassessment: What Do You Know

47- About Food Webs? 

49- Energy Arrows 

50- Food Chain 

51- Sun Food 

54- What’s For Dinner? 

57- Help Us Find Our Teeth 

62- Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

65- Animal Detective 

66- Pass It Up The Line 

68- Postassessment Making the Connections 

71- Field Log 

1- Reflections from a Naturalist’s Field Log 

2- Animal Detective

7- Mushroom Spore Print 

75- Life Lab Beat: Focus on Food Webs 

79- Index

Ecosystems (Originally Written For Fourth grade)

Theme: Students explore the patterns of relationships that define systems and ecosystems. 

Science Explorations: Students apply their knowledge of how living things use their habitats to look at how ecosystems work. 

Process Skills: Students organize their knowledge of habi­tat components and interactions to explore the relation­ships in ecosystems. 

Life Science: All living things are connected to their environ­ments by the roles they play in them and the effects they have on their surroundings, as well as the effect their environment has on them. 

Earth Science: In an ecosystem, organisms interact with the physical environment. Water, minerals, and organic matter cycle through ecosystems. 

Physical Science: Energy and matter are transferred among organisms within an ecosystem. Energy from the sun, trans­formed by plants, flows through the food chains of an ecosys­tem and must constantly be renewed. 

Science, Technology, and Society: While human actions can destroy ecosystems and cause the extinction of species, they can also help to preserve biological diversity.

“No man is an island entire of itself,” wrote the poet John Donne in 1624. He might just as well have been writing about ecosystems, the webs linking living things with each other and their environment. Every organism within an ecosystem depends on every other living and non living thing: a change to one affects all. 

This year started with the exploration of habitats. A habitat is the place-the home, the physical structure-where a plant or animal lives. As the year continued, students explored some of the key interactions that take place in a habitat: water and nutri­ents cycles, light, and food webs. In the coming weeks, students will work at organizing what they have learned in the previous units as they explore how all of these factors interact in an ecosystem. Ecosystem thus becomes the unifying concept that explores the interactions of living organisms with each other and with their non living environment. When you think of the great ecosystems of the world, rain forests, deserts, oceans, and prairies may come to mind. In this unit students will have the opportunity to investigate the systems and interactions in these locations, as well as in their own schoolyard. 

By using the garden’s Living Laboratory as a model of how ecosystems work, students come to understand that no piece of earth is divorced from the rest of the world: sunlight, water, and gases enter the system, plants and animals come and go, and associations form and disintegrate, linking each ecosystem to the biosphere, our planet’s life zone. This unit, too, is built on mutual reliance and cooperative learning. In these activities, students work together to find and share information, create ecosystem dioramas, solve problems, and make decisions. You will also find many ideas for weaving your Endangered Species Project into these activities.

Teacher Resource Section

Iv- Song: “Ecology”

1- Introduction 

2- Student Goals

3- Activity Chart 

4- Unit Planner 

6- Recommended Literature 

8- Parent Letter 

9- Working Together (examining simple


12- Whacky Systems (inventing a system) 

15- Garden Connections (analyzing inputs

into a garden bed) 

20- Setting Boundaries (observing and

Diagraming a garden system) 

23- One Bit of Ground (creating dioramas of


27- Carrying On (exploring interactions in

food pyramids) 

32- Picture a World (creating a seed packet) 

Endangered Species Project ( creating an

endangered species news show) 

37- Assessment Checklist 

Student Lab Book Section

Lab Sheets

40- Calendar 

Preassessment: What Do You Know

41- About Systems?

42- Working Together 

43- Whacky Systems 

45- Garden Connections

52- Ecosystem Readings

60- One Bit of Ground 

63- Carrying On 

66- Picture A World 

67- Postassessment Making the Connections 

69- Field Log

1- Reflections from a Naturalist’s Field Log

2- Setting Boundaries 

4- Endangered Ecosystem 

6- Cactus 

7- Tropical House? 

8- Square Meter Ecosystem 

73- Life Lab Beat: Focus On Ecosystems 

78- Index

Sustainable Systems (Originally Written For Fourth grade)

Theme: Students apply what they have learned throughout the year about how plants and animals interact with each other and their environment. 

Science Explorations: Students relate their knowledge of ecosys­tem parts and interactions to building sustainable systems. 

Process Skills: Students organize data and observations into projects to create a sustainable garden system.

Life Science: A healthy ecosystem has all the necessary inputs and food interactions to be sustained over the long term. 

Earth Science: Nutrients and water cycle through a sustainable system. 

Physical Science: A sustainable system is one in which energy and other losses from the system are minimized. 

Science, Technology, and Society: Resources must be con­served and recycled to maintain a healthy ecosystem. If habitats and ecosystems function well, species will be preserved.

Over the past year, your students have looked at many of the connections that bind plants and animals to each other and to their habitats. They have explored how organisms use water, nutrients, and light and how these factors help to determine what lives where. They have investigated how parts work together to make up a whole system, and they have applied their explorations to looking at how food webs and nutrient and water cycles build an ecosystem’s self-sustaining web of relationships. Now they take the next step and explore how humans can work at sustaining living systems. Sustaining any living thing involves sharing responsibility for and being aware of how individuals fit into a network of relationships. In this unit, students take responsibility for monitoring and assessing the projects they initiate. Of course, the end of the year is a busy time for everyone. Some of this unit activities will help prepare the garden for the summer. Instead of trying to schedule and complete all of the activities, you may want to choose either Mulch It Up or Critters Alive as a stewardship project, or consider having half the class do one activity and the other half do the other. Either the Endangered Species Play or Passing the Torch will provide a rousing end to a challenging year of learning about the world around us. Whichever way you choose to organize this unit, it will provide an opportunity to assess and reflect upon the interactions that each of us depend upon. As students apply their knowledge, challenge them to communicate the science concepts they are using. 

Iv- Song: “Nature Rap”

1- Introduction 

2- Student Goals

3- Activity Chart 

4- Unit Planner 

6- Recommended Literature 

8- Parent Letter 

9- Gardens Forever! ( identifying systems

in the garden) 

12- Garden Managers ( creating a sustainable

Garden plan) 

16- Mulch It Up (examining properties of mulch)

20- Critters Alive (controlling garden pests) 

24- New Neighbors (creating a multiple use

management plan) 

27- Endangered Species Play (producing an

Original play) 

30- Passing the Torch (compiling an

endangereds peciesb ig book) 

33- Endangered Species Project (creating an

endangered species awareness day)

35- Assessment Checklist

Student Lab Book Section

Lab Sheets

38- Calendar 

Preassessment: What Do You Know

39- About Sustainable Systems?

41- Gardens Forever! 

42- Garden Managers 

45- Critters Alive

49- New Neighbors 

53- Endangered Species Play 

56- Postassessment Making the Connections 

57- The Green Heart Award 

58- We Pass the Torch 

59- Moisture Meter 

61- Field Log 

1- Reflections from a Naturalist’s Field Log 

2- Garden Managers in the Field 

3- Mulch It Up

6- Critters Alive in the Field 

8- Midsummer Daydream 

65- Life Lab Beat: Focus on Sustainable Systems

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