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Kids' Inquiry of Diverse Species

Program Layout

NOTE: This is the layout for the BioKIDS curriculum that we ran in 2007. This is the curriculum that is available for download (see the Download tab on the left).

The BioKIDS team is running a new set of integrated curricula for 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. They are not yet ready for distribution.

Part A (Week 1-2)

The objective of Part A is to introduce the students to the observation techniques, tools, and scientific concepts that they will need in the Class and Team experiments in Parts B and C. The first activity allows the students to look at their schoolyard from a different perspective – not as a place to play, but as an animal’s home. Students create a map of their schoolyard and through observation and data collection determine the type of habitats present. They are then introduced to animal taxonomy, followed by the concepts of richness and abundance and how they relate to biodiversity.

Part B (Week 3-4)

The second part of the BioKIDS program allows the students to apply what they have learned about habitat, animal grouping, and biodiversity to a schoolyard investigation. Students first learn how to use a program called CyberTracker for logging animal sightings in their schoolyard. They then use the CyberTracker program in a Class Biodiversity Experiment, where students collect, share and analyze schoolyard biodiversity data. This experiment contains six experimental steps, which are repeated in their team experiments in Part C. As an extension activity, the students learn about microhabitats through further analysis of their CyberTracker data.

Part C (Week 5-6)

The third part of BioKIDS gives students the opportunity to look more closely at Invertebrates. First they collect, examine, and identify invertebrates from their schoolyard using the microscopes and invertebrate guides. Applying the scientific concepts and inquiry skills they have learned so far, the students then set up and collect data on a Team Biodiversity Experiment, which examines how change affects the richness, abundance, and biodiversity of invertebrates in different experimental settings.

Part D (Week 7-8)

In Part D, students are guided in doing research on an individual animal, then examine how their animal fits into the community. After completing their animal research, students are responsible for reporting their findings to their teammates. As an optional activity, students can look at how their animal interacts with both a mosquito and another student’s animal. Finally, student teams create food webs using the animals they have individually investigated. They explore the food webs that they created to learn about energy flow, the roles of living things in food webs, and the interdependence and interrelationships of living things.

University of Michigan Museum of ZoologyNational Science Foundation

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BioKIDS is sponsored in part by the Interagency Education Research Initiative. It is a partnership of the University of Michigan School of Education, University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, and the Detroit Public Schools. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant DRL-0628151.
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