Lab Assignment for Unit 11
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You will need to find an outdoor area at least 20 x 20 feet, which you can have access to for an hour or so several different times. It should have a wide variety of plant and animal life. The ideal area for this kind of observation is one which is still natural and open to different kinds of animals. A nature trail or greenbelt, undeveloped area of a park, farm field, or meadow are all good choices and will provide a variety of plants and animals to observe. Your backyard or local park are also possibilities, although they may not contain as many different types of organisms as an open area.
After you have identified the area, begin to inventory all plants and animals that you see. Write down your observations. Try to spend some time just sitting quietly, so that some of the animals will feel comfortable enough to show themselves.
Organize the animals and plants you observe into groups. Note any that are special and don't seem to fit into a particular group. Use your nature guide to try to identify as many of the organisms you observe as possible. Write down some questions that you wish to answer about your area from further observations during the next two weeks.
Return to your area at least twice during the three week period. Choose different times of day and different weather conditions, if possible. Note the differences in the appearance of the plants and any different kinds of animal life you see. See if you can determine the answers to your questions. Since it is autumn, you should be on the lookout for migrating birds, insects preparing shelter, and rapid changes in many plants as they lose their leaves for the winter.
Send your report by email or (if it includes drawings or data you do not want to enter into your computer) by US mail to your instructor. Your report should include:
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