Ecology Scavenger Hunt ((LINK))
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Find one beetle, and a green leaf with points on the edges. Find a bird with red on its head, and an animal with more than six legs. Find a plant or animal that has a smell, good or bad. This is not a recipe for the bubbling cauldron in Macbeth. It is a recipe, of sorts, though not for witches. It's a formula for making children more aware of their environment by spending more time outdoors. I call it an ecology scavenger hunt.
With school out and long summer days beckoning, children have time on their hands. Marathon video games and endless television are not a good answer to "what can I do?" Such activities seem to dominate the lives and minds of many of today's youngsters, and parents. In fact, do young people even know what a scavenger hunt is? Maybe, but have they ever been on one? Or are games becoming something children only play on a computer?
An ecology scavenger hunt is a good idea, if for no other reason than that too many children spend too much time indoors. Television and computers make it easy to do. And indeed these are important technological advances. In fact, a person can learn a lot from TV and videos. But the living world is outside. And children should be encouraged to spend as much time there as they can. The idea of the scavenger hunt is to locate each item on the list. This means spending time in the front or back yard, the park, or the nearest woods. An additional requirement of the hunt is to read something about the plant or animal, which may entail a trip to the library or the bookstore. And then, even though this is beginning to sound like school is not really out, write a meaningful statement about the item on the list. Or the children might write out a question to ask their science teacher when they go back to school.
To complete the scavenger hunt successfully, one has to do three things--find, read, and write--for five different living things. The reading and writing can be done on days it's too hot or too wet to enjoy being outside. The finding can be at other times.
My list for an ecology scavenger hunt is only an example. Make up your own list. It will help keep children, and maybe a few adults, outdoors--a place everyone ought to become more familiar with. If you have an environmental question or comment, email
Explore ecology as an Eco-Spy as you participate in this fun scavenger hunt activity that covers biomes, energy pyramids, food webs and food chains, symbiotic relationships (mutualism, parasitism, commensalism), succession, invasive species, current events like honey bee hive collapse and more!
A good place to start a list of items for the scavenger hunt is to have an adult(s) explore the environment for commonly found items, such as specific types of leaves, flowers, plant products (i.e. fruits, berries, nuts, or seeds), and animal tracks. Keep in mind that the scavenger hunters will be both entertained and engaged until every item gets checked off the list. For educational value, it is helpful if the adults know something informative about each item on the list. Older kids may desire a little competition that includes a prize or treat for the individual or group that finds the most items on the list.
Start by printing and reviewing the scavenger hunt prompts, and select one or more scavenger hunts to complete. Take 20-25 minutes to explore the area and find the components of their scavenger hunt.
Discuss with your family how each scavenger hunt represents one piece of an ecosystem: consumers, producers, decomposers and abiotic factors. Have a discussion about what you found and noticed, and how you feel each component of the ecosystem fits together.
ECO inspires elementary school students to connect to our natural world by providing hands-on ecology enrichment programs. We get kids outdoors to learn about their local environment during their school day. ECO lessons and activities support teachers' in their effort to meet standards while making learning fun!
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We've teamed up with Ecology Action and local bike shops to bring you an around-the-town history scavenger hunt. Join this reimagined, safely distanced Race Through Time in honor of Santa Cruz Bike Month and our current mountain biking exhibition, Trailblazers.
Solve riddles, plan your route, and whizz through local history in this epic around-the-town scavenger hunt. You have all month to complete and visit as many clues as possible. The top five players will receive epic prizes like 24-hour bike rental, swag, panniers, and a rear bike rack from local bike shops such as Spokesman & Specialized.
Each team competes in 3 disciplines: a scavenger hunt, an interpretive skit, and ecology exams. During the scavenger hunt, students must work together to identify plants and small animals that are native to the surrounding area. They are awarded points based on how many organisms they identify within a 30 minute time limit.
Quick FactsMajor Problems that Face Tallgrass PrairiesMajor Issues Facing the PrairieWatch video from the Particles and Prairies videodiscPrairie Restoration Slide Show1000 slides covering the restoration, history, ecology of the Fermilab prairie.
Provide engaging instruction and reinforce Light and Sound Energy skills with this Light & Sound SCAVENGER HUNT. Keep the activity in your classroom or make it a school-wide search! Either way, this scavenger hunt is sure to engage and motivate ALL of your students (grades 6-12).
Games are great to help youth explore and learn about the natural environment. By turning learning into a game, it changes the mindset of children. There are many positive aspects to using activities of this nature. Games can be hands-on, interactive, cover key concepts and create good discussion. Scavenger hunts may be one of the most popular, effective and easy-to-use activities.
Environmental scavenger hunts are fun, engaging and educational. In addition, they are easy to make, coordinate and are adaptable to most any location or age level. Try one with your 4-H club, youth group, classroom or family. Everyone involved will find it worth the time.
This scavenger hunt will get you out and moving, looking for sustainability features that make our neighborhoods greener and healthier for our communities. Get out for a walk or a bike ride and look for sustainability features around your neighborhood in the following categories - Water, Energy, Transportation, Materials & Waste, and Community & Nature.
After watching the video (below) on abiotic and biotic factors, go on a scavenger hunt around your home in search of naturally occurring abiotic and biotic factors. The area just outside your home will have micro-ecosystems all around it. Look for abiotic and biotic factors that support each other.
In ecology, the levels begin with organisms, populations, communities, and the ecosystem. Abiotic and biotic factors work together to keep ecosystems stable or balanced. Biotic organisms, such as animals, plants, and humans, rely on the abiotic factors within their environment to survive. For example, plants rely on the abiotic factor sunlight to produce glucose (a simple sugar) as food through the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis only occurs inside plant cells or alike organisms; this process was briefly mentioned in the previous lesson of animal and plant cells. 2b1af7f3a8