Seventh-Grade Science Turns Students Into Investigators

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Seventh-Grade Science Turns Students Into Investigators
Marcia Ostendorff, Science Teacher

Backyard Biology and Spicy Biology lessons provide hands-on activities students can do at home.


Students went on two field trips in seventh-grade science this week that got them exploring and asking questions.

First, they explored their own Backyard Biology. Students were asked to investigate the biodiversity of their neighborhood ecosystem and consider how the organisms there are connected and interdependent. Using the Seek app to help them identify what they find, students investigated one square meter in a natural area near their home. They were asked to look for plants, animals, fungi, protists and man-made objects. Next, each student will create a biodiversity web to trace a few of the connections between consumers, producers and decomposers in their ecosystem.

Students also took a field trip to their kitchen to investigate a little Spicy Biology. Combining history, observation skills and a review of plant parts, students were asked to find eight spices or herbs in their kitchen or backyard and to determine and describe each by taste, smell, color, texture, part of the plant, and how it can be used. Students searched online materials we provided to find the scientific names of the plants they found. There were good conversations about some of the ways our families use herbs and spices in their daily lives.