Investigation Sequence


City Parks and People

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Focus Questions

What can we do to help our parks survive?


Content: Earth, Physical, & Life


Cross cutting concepts


Science Practice

Process Concept-Discovery Learning

People learn with careful observation.
Ojects can be classified as either natural or of human design.
Evidence is something that is observed and can be used to understand what is happening and make predictions about future changes.

1.  Observations provide more evidence than listening.
2.  Parks are filled with man-made and non-man- objects.
3.  Taking inventory of the park will provide useful information that will help students make connections.

Personal, Social, Technology, Nature of Science, History

Life Science-Service Learning Concept

There are many ways in which humans can help community parks to thrive.
Environments-population, ecosystems, diversity, adaptations.
All organisms cause change in their environments.

1.  Students can pick up trash, plant trees, volunteer to paint, organize community events, ect.  to help our parks as well as our community.
2.  All living things have an environment.
3.  An increase or decrease in population may affect the environment.

Background information


1.  There is nothing that 3rd graders can do to help.

2.  Nothing is wrong with out parks.

3.  Animal habitats have nothing to do with how well we take care of the plant life in the park.


Diagnostic: Class discussion about possible concerns and what they think they will find at the park will help determine what they know.

Formative: Letters to the city, as well as journal summaries and individual top ten lists will demonstrate what the students understand.

Summative: What conclusions have you drawn from visiting the park and taking inventory?

Generative: How can you use this information in your everyday life?

Activity Objective: The students will inventory the park to observe things they may be able to improve.

Guiding questions: What do you know about who takes care of the parks?  What do you notice about the equipment?  How many difference animals do you think live in this park?  Where do they live?  How much litter do you see? Do you see anything that concerns you?

Materials: notebook, pencil, digital camera

Activity Sequence

Exploration Procedure

1.  Students will take a field trip to a park in the community.

2.  In groups, they will spread out and inventory everything that they see, including plant life, animals and their habitats, and manmade things.

3.  Each group will take pictures of the things they observe and record the things they discuss.

Invention Procedure

1.  Students will analyze the pictures they took at the park and discuss within their groups the relevance of the picture to the park.

2.  Students will research any plant, animal, or topic from their pictures that they do not understand or are having a hard time connecting.

3.  Students will listen to a speaker form the city talk about the park they visited; it’s history, and what it takes to maintain the park.

Discovery Activity

1.  Students will be asked to write a list of the top ten things they can do to help their community.

2.  Students will write a summary in their journals of the things they have learned since beginning this project.

3.  Students will write a letter to the city of Wayne; thanking them for the things they do for our parks and our community, listing concerns they have and giving any suggestions they might have.  Students may also include the ways they intend to help and why the feel it is so important.

Activity Descriptions


Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes