Observing Behaviors

Behaviors also vary between individual of the same species and individuals of different species, providing grounds for comparison and contrast Observations can be made in the following kinds of animal behaviors:

  • Locomotion in animals
  • Nesting habits and care of young
  • Courtship and mating
  • Schooling behavior in fish
  • Trail marking and food preferences in ants
  • Territoriality and communication behavior in crickets
  • Maze learning in small mammals (rewards only)
  • Construction of observation chambers (beehives, ant colonies, spider webs, wasp nests)

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Classroom Activities with Live Organisms

Classroom activities with live organisms can center on behavioral, morphological, ecological, or other emphasis categories, and involve the practice of basic science skills such as measuring, observing, and collecting and analyzing data. Suggested general classroom activities include:

  • Learn to care for life by providing suitable habitats, food, water, and other needs
  • Observe differences between plants and animals
  • Study life cycles
  • Observe growth, development, and reproduction
  • Observe food chains and webs
  • Study behavioral responses to normal ranges of environmental factors
  • Observe differences among individuals of the same species
  • Measure growth responses to environmental factors
  • Study population growth
  • Culture algae, protozoa, and invertebrates
  • Clone plants (duckweed, African violet, etc.)

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Benefits of Animals in the Classroom

There are many benefits to keeping animals in the classroom.  When students have an animal that they are responsible for it teaches them to care for a living thing! Science comes alive when animals are introduced in the classroom.  Continue reading

Why Study Living Things in the Classroom?

Children are naturally curious about the world around them. This characteristic makes learning activities in science enjoyable and rewarding for both students and teachers. Whether they live in large cities, small towns, or rural areas, children everywhere display an interest in living things. A field trip around the school grounds or through a park or vacant lot, will provide them with many opportunities to acquire firsthand knowledge of plants and animals.

Constructing and maintaining aquaria and terraria with specimens brought back from such field trips is an exciting way to illustrate the interrelationships between living things Continue reading