Infusion of Literacy into the Science Curriculum Book Information: Title: Author: Publisher: Copyright Year ISBN #: Summary: Availability: Freshwater Alphabet Book Jerry Pallotta Charlesbridge Publishing 1996 978-0-88106-900-6 Come take a swim with 27 freshwater creatures from around the world. Meet a fish that has no eyes and one that has four! Get to know an eel that carries enough electricity to light up a light bulb and a glacier-dwelling worm with blood that works like antifreeze. This exquisite and fact-filled introduction to freshwater dwellers features full-color illustrations throughout. Arlington Central Library; Amazon for purchase How can the book content be infused into the science curriculum? Grade Level Strands 3-5 Life Processes, Living Systems, Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change, Earth Resources Kindergarten Grade 1 Grade 2 Grade 3 Life Processes 3.4 The student will investigate and understand that adaptations allow animals to satisfy life needs and respond to the environment. Key concepts include a) behavioral adaptations; and b) physical adaptations. Living Systems 3.5 The student will investigate and understand relationships among organisms in aquatic and terrestrial food chains. Key concepts include a) producer, consumer, decomposer; b) herbivore, carnivore, omnivore; and c) predator and prey. 3.6 The student will investigate and understand that ecosystems support a diversity of plants and animals that share limited resources. Key concepts include a) aquatic ecosystems; c) populations and communities; and Earth Patterns, Cycles, and Change 3.8 The student will investigate and understand basic patterns and cycles occurring in nature. Key concepts include a) patterns of natural events such as day and night, seasonal changes, simple phases of the moon, and tides; b) animal life cycles; and 3.9 The student will investigate and understand the water cycle and its relationship to life on Earth. Key concepts include a) there are many sources of water on Earth; c) the water cycle involves several processes; d) water is essential for living things; and Earth Resources 3.10 The student will investigate and understand that natural events and human influences can affect the survival of species. Key concepts include a) the interdependency of plants and animals; Grade 4 Living Systems 4.5 The student will investigate and understand how plants and animals, including humans, in an ecosystem interact with one another and with the nonliving components in the ecosystem. Key concepts include a) plant and animal adaptations; b) organization of populations, communities, and ecosystems and how they interrelate; c) flow of energy through food webs; d) habitats and niches; e) changes in an organism’s niche at various stages in its life cycle; and Earth Resources 4.9 The student will investigate and understand important Virginia natural resources. Key concepts include a) watersheds and water resources; Grade 5 Living Systems b) classification of organisms using physical characteristics, body structures, and behavior of the organism; and c) traits of organisms that allow them to survive in their environment. Sample Activities: Grade 3 Grade 4 Salt and Freshwater Animals Make a salt water solution and dye it with food coloring. Fill the jar half full of salt solution and then slowly pour plain tap water on top of the solution. The salt water will stay at the bottom of the solution because it is heavier. Release a couple of small brine shrimp (check a pet store) and a goldfish into the solution. The shrimp will go to the seawater bottom while the goldfish will stay at the top (freshwater). Create a Wetland Scene Overview: In this lesson, students will learn about the importance of wetlands. They will learn about the different types of freshwater wetlands, and the things that threaten their health. Materials Required: Computer with Internet access Crayons, markers, colored pencils, etc. Pens/pencils and paper Materials for creating board games (cardboard, construction paper, etc.) Freshwater Alphabet Book Objectives: Students will learn basic information about wetlands; identify some of the plants and animals that live in a wetland, and how they have adapted to their wetland habitat; study a specific type of wetland; and create a board game to teach other students about wetlands. Opening: A wetland is an area in which water is present at least part of the time, generally for at least a portion of the plant growing season. In addition, the soils of a wetland differ considerably from nearby or surrounding uplands. Hydric soils, found in wetlands, are wet, low in oxygen, and often black with muck. Finally, wetlands support plants, called hydrophytes, which have adapted to living in wet, oxygen-poor soils. Together, these water, soil, and vegetation characteristics make up a broad definition for wetlands that is used by most scientists. Wetlands support a vast number of plant and animal species adapted to live in a soggy and oxygen-poor environment year round, as well as some wildlife species that spend part of their time there, seeking food, water, cover, or places to raise young—crucial elements of habitat. While scientists classify wetlands in a number of ways, two major divisions of wetlands are saltwater and freshwater wetlands. Plants and animals in saltwater wetlands must deal with the constant movement of tides and the associated fluctuations in salinity, or level of suspended salt in the water. Examples of saltwater wetlands are salt marshes, tidal flats, and mangrove swamps. In this lesson, students will be learning about freshwater wetlands. There are many types of freshwater wetlands. The most widespread of all wetlands are the freshwater marshes, which can be found throughout the United States. There are different types of freshwater marshes, determined by the depth of their waters. Many scientists believe freshwater marshes are the most productive ecosystems on Earth; they provide food, water, and shelter, and act as nurseries for young fish, birds, insects, amphibians, and so on. Three more types of freshwater wetlands are bogs, swamps, and vernal pools. Bogs are full of peat, which is a thick layer of organic material that forms when plants and other organisms die and fall into the water. Sphagnum mosses often cover the top layer of bogs, and cranberries can be found growing in bogs. Pitcher plants and sundews compensate for the difficulty in absorbing nutrients and acidic, slowly decomposing bog soils by capturing and digesting insects. Moose, bear, deer, and many other animals visit bogs at different times of year for food, water and cover. Swamps are either forested or shrubby areas whose soils are covered with standing water during the winter, but may dry out during parts of the growing season. Bald cypress and tupelo trees are often found in southern swamps. The plants in shrubby swamps may vary, but include willows and buttonbush. Alligators and cottonmouth snakes live in southern swamps, and panthers, foxes, deer, and raccoons find many habitat elements in swamps. Finally, vernal pools are temporary wetlands that appear with snowmelt or rainfall in the spring and fall, but often vanish as the summer months arrive. Their vegetation varies greatly, and they are crucial habitat for many amphibians. Development: Ask students what they think of when they hear the word "wetland." Ask them if they have ever visited a marsh, swamp, or bog, or have ever watched tadpoles swim in small puddles. Ask them what they think some of the things are that make a wetland a true wetland? (Wetlands are covered in water at least part of the year, they have special soils, and support certain kinds of plants that can live in these conditions.) Write some of their answers on a chalk or dry-erase board. Discuss their answers as a class. Show photographs or drawings of different kinds of wetlands from the following Web sites: eNature: Wetlands Life Zone MBGNet: Biomes—Wetlands U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Wetlands U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: National Image Library (search for "wetlands") Ask if students recognize any of the plants or animals in any of the pictures. Help students identify the plants and animals in different scenes. Ask what differences they see between these wetlands. What are some similarities? Explain that saltwater wetlands are near the ocean, so are saltier and experience tides, while freshwater wetlands are inland and contain water that many plants and animals can use easily. Have students break into small groups. Have each group choose a different type of wetland (it can be a freshwater marsh like the one in the story, but they shouldn't use all the same organisms described) and research on different plants and animals found there, including adaptations the animals have for dealing with wetland conditions (talk about adaptations ahead of time if students are unfamiliar with the concept). Students may use regional field guides or the following Web resources to help in their research: eNature: Wetlands Life Zone Enchanted Learning: Freshwater Marsh Animal Printouts New Hampshire Public Television: Freshwater Marshes U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: Wetlands USGS: Florida Ecosystems Each group should create visual displays for a presentation of a trip through the wetland they are discussing. They will then lead the class on an imaginary trip through their wetland, stopping to explain how at least five plants and/or animals have adapted to the different conditions of the wetland. Closing: Ask students what they have learned about wetlands. Why are they important? Why should we work hard to save them? What kinds of things might threaten wetland.