Fun From Home

Have fun from home with Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve! Check out the activities below to get started.

 

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Fun From Home & Louisiana Education Standards

Name and Description

Activity Link

Louisiana State Education Standards

Mighty Mini Trail Hike: Come along with Rangers Allyn and Fred on an adventure into our wetlands of south Louisiana and check out some of our neighbors, like the “King of Horseflies” or see if you can see the “Ghost Shrimp” or see the “Barred Owl” in his silent flight!

Mighty Mini Trail Hike

Science Standards

  • K-LS-1-1: ORGANIZATION FOR MATTER AND ENERGY FLOW IN ORGANISMS All animals need food in order to live and grow. Animals obtain their food from plants or from other animals. Plants need water and light to live and grow. (LE.LS1C.a)

  • K-ESS3-1: NATURAL RESOURCES Living things need water, air, and resources from the land, and they live in places that have the things they need. Humans use natural resources for everything they do. (LE.ESS3A.a)

  • 1-LS1-5: STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION All organisms have external parts. Different animals use their body parts in different ways to see, hear, grasp objects, protect themselves, move from place to place, and seek, find, and take in food, water, and air. Plants also have different parts (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits) that help them survive and grow. (LE.LS1A.a) INFORMATION PROCESSING Animals have body parts that capture and convey different kinds of information needed for growth and survival. Animals respond to these inputs with behaviors that help them survive. Plants also respond to some external inputs. (LE.LS1D.a)

  • 2-LS2-5: INTERDEPENDENT RELATIONSHIPS IN ECOSYSTEMS Plants depend on water and light to grow. (LE.LS2A.a)

  • 2-LS4-1: BIODIVERSITY AND HUMANS There are many kinds of living things in any area, and they exist in different places on land, in water, and in air. (LE.LS4D.a)

  • 5-LS8-1: INTERDEPENDENT RELATIONSHIPS IN ECOSYSTEMS The food of almost any kind of animal can be traced back to plants. Organisms are related in food webs in which some animals eat plants for food and other animals eat the animals that eat plants. (UE.LS2A.a) Some organisms, such as fungi and bacteria, break down dead organisms and therefore operate as “decomposers.” Decomposition eventually restores (recycles) some materials back to the soil. (UE.LS2A.b)

  • 6-MS-ESS3: HUMAN IMPACTS ON EARTH SYSTEMS Typically as human populations and per-capita consumption of natural resources increase, so do the negative impacts on Earth unless the activities and technologies involved are engineered otherwise. (MS.ESS3C.b) BIOGEOLOGY Living organisms interact with Earth materials resulting in changes of the Earth. (MS.ESS2E.a) RESOURCE MANAGEMENT FOR LOUISIANA Responsible management of Louisiana’s natural resources promotes economic growth, a healthy environment, and vibrant productive ecosystems. (MS.EVS1B.a)

  • 6-MS-LS2-1: INTERDEPENDENT RELATIONSHIPS IN ECOSYSTEMS Organisms, and populations of organisms, are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors. (MS.LS2A.a) In any ecosystem, organisms and populations with similar requirements for food, water, oxygen, or other resources may compete with each other for limited resources, access to which consequently constrains their growth and reproduction. (MS.LS2A.b) Growth of organisms and population increases are limited by access to resources. (MS.LS2A.c)

  • 6-MS-LS2-2: INTERDEPENDENT RELATIONSHIPS IN ECOSYSTEMS Predatory interactions may reduce the number of organisms or eliminate whole populations of organisms. Mutually beneficial interactions, in contrast, may become so interdependent that each organism requires the other for survival. Although the species involved in these competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial interactions vary across ecosystems, the patterns of interactions of organisms with their environments, both living and nonliving, are shared. (MS.LS2A.d)

  • 6-MS-LS2-3: CYCLE OF MATTER AND ENERGY TRANSFER IN ECOSYSTEMS Food webs are models that demonstrate how matter and energy is transferred between producers, consumers, and decomposers as the three groups interact within an ecosystem. (MS.LS2B.a) Transfers of matter into and out of the physical environment occur at every level. (MS.LS2B.b) Decomposers recycle nutrients from dead plant or animal matter back to the soil in terrestrial environments or to the water in aquatic environments. (MS.LS2B.c) The atoms that make up the organisms in an ecosystem are cycled repeatedly between the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem. Geochemical cycles include carbon, nitrogen, and the water cycle. (MS.LS2B.d)

  • 7-MS-LS1-6: ORGANIZATION FOR MATTER AND ENERGY FLOW IN ORGANISMS Plants, plant-like protists (including algae and phytoplankton), and other microorganisms use the energy from light, to make sugars (food) from carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and water from the environment through the process of photosynthesis, which also releases oxygen. These sugars can be used immediately or stored for growth or later use. (MS.LS1C.a)

  • 7-MS-LS2-5: ECOSYSTEM DYNAMICS, FUNCTIONING, AND RESILIENCE Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth’s terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem’s biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health. (MS.LS2C.b)

Old-Timey Toys & Recycling: Back in the day, toys were expensive and stores were hard to get to for most kids, so they made their own. Kids got pretty creative using leftover fabric from grandmother’s apron, corn husks, buttons, string---whatever they could find. Here's some inspiration from old-timey toys using things you might throw away or recycle today. Try making these toys and then invent your own toys and games using things you find---have fun!

Old Timey Toys

Science Standards

  • PS4.4: WAVES AND THEIR APPLICATIONS : Use tools and materials to design and build a device that uses light or sound to solve the problem of communicating over a distance (1)

Arts Standards

  • VA-CA-E1: View works of art and express observations about how the elements and principles of design are used in the works (1, 4)

  • VA-CA-E2: Identify images, colors, and other art elements that have specific meanings in cultural contexts (1, 4)

  • VA-CA-E3: Express and explain aesthetic judgments about the created (built) environment (1, 2, 4)

  • VA-CA-E4: Express and explain opinions about visual works of others using basic art vocabulary (1, 4)

  • VA-CA-E5: Express interpretations about works of art and give supporting reasons (1, 4)

Social Studies Standards

  • K.2.1: HISTORICAL THINKING SKILLS Compare and contrast children and families of today with those in the past using various sources

  • K.2.4: HISTORICAL THINKING SKILLS Recall facts about people of the past and present

  • 1.1.2: HISTORICAL THINKING SKILLS Create a primary source of personal information

  • se historical thinking skills to explore continuity and change in their community and the United

  • 2.1.2: HISTORICAL THINKING SKILLS Compare and contrast the present day community to that of the past using primary sources. Artifacts are the primary sources

  • 3.1.2: CHRONOLOGICAL & HISTORICAL THINKING Explain how technology has changed family and community life in Louisiana over time

  • 3.1.7: CHRONOLOGICAL & HISTORICAL THINKING Identify community and regional historical artifacts, including primary sources, to answer historical questions

Wetland Animal Olympics: Come “pass a good time” with the critters of Louisiana's wetlands. Can you move like a butterfly, a bullfrog, a squirrel, or a caterpillar? Can you chomp like an alligator? Watch this video and discover your amazing abilities!

Wetland Animal Olympics

Art Standards

  • D-CE-E1: Use kinesthetic awareness, proper use of space, and the ability to move safely (1, 2, 5)

  • D-CE-E2: Explore and demonstrate basic movements and the elements of dance (space, time, and energy) (1, 2)

  • D-CE-E3: Recognize and explore dance as a way to create and communicate ideas and feelings (1, 4)

  • D-CE-E4: Explore the process of making a dance; improvise to create a dance phrase (1, 2)

  • D-CE-E5: Execute improvised and set movement patterns with concentration and focus individually and in groups (1, 4, 5)

Making Happy Origami Fish: Join Ranger Allyn to make origami fish. You need a little time, some square sheets of paper, and some simple folds to create a whole school of happy origami fish!

Making Happy Origami Fish

Art Standards

  • VA-CE-E1: Explore and identify imagery from a variety of sources and create visual representations (2, 3)

  • VA-CE-E2: Explore and discuss techniques and technologies for visual expression and communication (1, 2, 3)

  • VA-CE-E3: Use art vocabulary and the elements and principles of design to convey the language of art (create and discuss own artwork) (1, 2,3)

  • VA-CE-E4: Experiment to create various art forms, including art forms from other cultures (2, 3, 4)

  • VA-CE-E5: Draw on imagination, individual experience, and group activities to generate ideas for visual expression (1, 4, 5)

  • VA-CE-E6: Identify relationships among visual arts, other arts, and disciplines outside the arts (1, 4)

  • VA-CE-M4: Develop skills in creating various art forms, including art forms from other cultures (2, 3, 4)

Creole Storytelling:

Make your own mask and follow along with the stories of Bouki and Lapin!

Join Dr. Elista Istre, founder of Belle Heritage, and Rangers Jodie and Dave. Dr. Istre recites stories of Bouki and Lapin! She talks about their antics while the Rangers bring the fox and rabbit puppets to life.

Creole Storytelling

Visual Arts Standards

  • VA-CA-E1: View works of art and express observations about how the elements and principles of design are used in the works (1, 4)

  • VA-CA-E2: Identify images, colors, and other art elements that have specific meanings in cultural contexts (1, 4)

  • VA-CA-E3: Express and explain aesthetic judgments about the created (built) environment (1, 2, 4)

  • VA-CA-E4: Express and explain opinions about visual works of others using basic art vocabulary (1, 4)

  • VA-CA-E5: Express interpretations about works of art and give supporting reasons (1, 4)

Dance Standards

  • D-HP-E1: Recognize and discuss the role of dance in cultural/historical contexts, including celebrations, ceremonies, and special occasions (1, 4)

Music Standards

  • M-HP-E1: Recognize musical styles representative of various cultures (i.e. Cajun & Zydeco) (4)

  • M-HP-E2: Recognize and discuss the function of music within historical and cultural contexts, including celebrations, ceremonies, and special occasions (1, 4)

  • M-HP-E3: Recognize families of musical instruments and instruments of various cultures (i.e. Cajun & Creole Zydeco use of washboard) (4)

Theatre Arts Standards

  • TH-AP-E1: Understand and use basic theatre arts vocabulary, including language for describing theatre in various cultures/time periods (1)

  • TH-AP-E2: Recognize and respond to concepts of beauty and taste in the ideas and creations of others through the study of theatre arts (1, 4, 5)

  • TH-AP-E4: Recognize that there are many possibilities and choices in the creative processes for theatre arts (2, 4)

  • TH-AP-E5: Identify and discuss how works of theatre and dramatic media affect thoughts and feelings (1, 2)

  • TH-AP-E6: Share personal feelings or preferences about theatre and other dramatic works (1)

Social Studies Standards

  • K.2.1: HISTORICAL THINKING Compare and contrast children and families of today with those in the past using various sources. Folktales have been told for generations in Louisiana, Southern USA, Indigenous Peoples, Croatia, Mexico, Western Africa, etc.

  • K.2.4: HISTORICAL THINKING Recall facts about people of the past and present

  • 1.1.3: HISTORICAL THINKING Compare and contrast lifestyles of the past to the present Folktales have been told for generations in Louisiana, Southern USA, Indigenous Peoples, Croatia, Mexico, Western Africa, etc.

  • 2.1.2: HISTORICAL THINKING Compare and contrast the present day community to that of the past using primary sources. Artifacts are the primary sources, Folktales have been told for generations in Louisiana, Southern USA, Indigenous Peoples Croatia, Mexico, Western Africa, etc.

Zydefit! Zydeco is a kind of music from south Louisiana. It's a little bit rhythm and blues, a little bit Louisiana Creole, a little bit American Indian, a little bit Cajun, and a lot of fun.

Zydefit Is Dancing

Arts Standards

  • Chapter 3. Dance

    • Subchapter A. Creative Expression Grade Clusters K–4, 5–8, 9–12

      • Benchmark 1 Use kinesthetic awareness, proper use of space and the ability to move safely (1, 2, 5) Demonstrate self-monitoring and effective use of space (2, 5) Incorporate kinesthetic awareness, use of space and self-evaluation to refine performance skills (2, 4, 5)

      • Benchmark 2 Explore and demonstrate basic movements and the elements of dance (space, time, and energy) (1, 2) Use the elements of dance to execute basic movements with increased skill and develop a movement vocabulary (1, 4) Use the elements of dance to develop technical skills and expand or refine movement vocabulary (1, 4)

      • Benchmark 4 Explore the process of making a dance; Improvise to create a dance phrase (1, 2) Use improvisation, choreography, and choreographic forms to sequence movements into dance phrases (2, 3) Incorporate improvisation, choreography and choreographic forms into dance compositions (2, 3)

      • Benchmark 5 Execute improvised and set movement patterns with concentration and focus individually and in groups (1, 4, 5) Present and evaluate dance compositions designed to display skills and techniques (1, 2, 4, 5)

    • Subchapter C. Historical and Cultural Perspective Grade Cluster K–4

      • D-HP-E1 Recognize and discuss the role of dance in cultural/historical contexts, including celebrations, ceremonies, and special occasions

    • Subchapter D. Critical Analysis

      • D-CA-E1: Observe and identify the basic movements in dance (3, 4)
      • D-CA-E3: Recognize and discuss the sequencing of movements in dance (1, 4)

  • Chapter 5: Music Grade Cluster K–4

    • M-HP-E1: HISTORICAL & CULTURAL PERSPECTIVE Recognize musical styles representative of various cultures (i.e. Zydeco and Creole Culture) (4)

Social Studies Standards

  • HISTORICAL THINKING SKILLS

    • K.2.1: Compare and contrast children and families of today with those in the past using various sources. Dance has been done in various forms for generations in Louisiana. (Kindergarten)

Making a Pirogue Craft Join Ranger Allyn and Ranger Fred and make a pirogue! What's a pirogue? It's a long narrow boat with a flat bottom that makes it perfect for traveling in south Louisiana's bayous. A cardboard box, some paint or markers, and you can float down your imaginary bayou!

Making a Pirogue Craft

Art Standards

  • VA-CE-E1: Explore and identify imagery from a variety of sources and create visual representations (2, 3)

  • VA-CE-E2: Explore and discuss techniques and technologies for visual expression and communication (1, 2, 3)

  • VA-CE-E3: Use art vocabulary and the elements and principles of design to convey the language of art (create and discuss own artwork) (1, 2,3)

  • VA-CE-E4: Experiment to create various art forms, including art forms from other cultures (2, 3, 4)

  • VA-CE-E5: Draw on imagination, individual experience, and group activities to generate ideas for visual expression (1, 4, 5)

  • VA-CE-E6: Identify relationships among visual arts, other arts, and disciplines outside the arts (1, 4)

Name and Description

Activity Link

Louisiana State Education Standards

Crawfish Dissection! These arthropods are an iconic species and food source in Southeastern Louisiana. We know “pinch the tail” and “suck the head”, but there is more to crawfish than just a boil! In this activity you will create your own crawfish with clay or playdough and follow along with Dr. Liz!

Crawfish Dissection

  • 4-LS1-1: STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION Plants and animals have both internal and external structures that serve various functions in growth, survival, behavior, and reproduction. (UE.LS1A.a)

  • 4-LS1-2: STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION Different sense receptors are specialized for particular kinds of information, which then may be processed by the animal’s brain. Animals are able to use their perceptions and memories to guide their actions. (UE.LS1D.a)

  • 5-LS2-1: INTERDEPENDENT RELATIONSHIPS IN ECOSYSTEMS The food of almost any kind of animal can be traced back to plants. Organisms are related in food webs in which some animals eat plants for food and other animals eat the animals that eat plants. (UE.LS2A.a) Some organisms, such as fungi and bacteria, break down dead organisms and therefore operate as “decomposers.” Decomposition eventually restores (recycles) some materials back to the soil. (UE.LS2A.b) Organisms can survive only in environments in which their particular needs are met. A healthy ecosystem is one in which multiple species of different types are each able to meet their needs in a relatively stable web of life. (UE.LS2A.c) Newly introduced species can damage the balance of an ecosystem. (UE.LS2A.d)CYCLES OF MATTER AND ENERGY TRANSFER IN ECOSYSTEMS Matter cycles between the air and soil and among plants, animals, decomposers, and microbes as these organisms live and die. Organisms obtain gases, and water, from the environment, and release waste matter (gas, liquid, or solid) back into the environment. (UE.LS2B.a)

  • 5-ESS3-1: HUMAN IMPACTS ON EARTH SYSTEMS Human activities in agriculture, industry, and everyday ife have had major effects on the land, vegetation, streams, ocean and the atmosphere. But individuals and communities are doing things to help protect Earth’s resources and environments. (UE.ESS3C.a) DEVELOPING POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS Tests are often designed to identify failure points or difficulties, which suggest the elements of the design that need to be improved. (ETS.UE.1B.c)

Water Safety: Learn how to stay safe around water with Bobber the Dog, Willie B. Safe, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Water Safety with Bobber and Willie

PRE-KINDERGARTEN

Safety Standard

  • PM 5 Indicators: Older Toddlers (16 – 36 months)

    • (2.1) Recognize some harmful situations.

    • (2.2) Follow directions from an adult to avoid potential harmful conditions/situations.

    • (2.3) Follow safety rules with assistance and guidance from adults.

  • PM 5 Indicators: Three-Year-Olds (36 – 48 months)

    • (3.1) Identify and avoid potentially harmful objects, substances, or situations or behaviors with supervision.

    • (3.2) State safety rules and follow them with guidance from adults.

  • PM 5 Indicators: Four-Year-Olds (48 – 60 months)

    • (4.1) Identify and alert others of potentially hazardous objects, substances, behaviors, and/or situations (that may appear in the child’s environment) with supervision.

    • (4.2) Demonstrate and communicate a basic understanding of health and safety rules and respond appropriately to harmful or unsafe situations (e.g., hold an adult’s hand when crossing the street, never swim alone, adult supervision when in the water, don’t touch a hot stove, etc.).

KINDERGARTEN

Health Standard

  • Standard 1: Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.

1-E-4: Identify risky behaviors and ways to avoid and reduce them.

  • 1-E-4.3 Identify ways injuries can be prevented (e.g., seatbelt, playground, street, water).
  • Standard 3: Students will demonstrate the ability to access valid information, products and services to enhance health.

  • 3-E-1: Identify sources of valid health information.
  • 3-E-1.1 Identify characteristics of a trusted adult at home, school or in the community.

  • 3-E-1.2 List trusted adults who can help in an emergency situation.

  • 3-E-2: Demonstrate the ability to locate resources for health-promoting products and services.

  • 3-E-2.1 Identify people who are sources of valid health information and health promoting products and services (e.g., trusted adults, doctor, police, teacher, ranger).

  • 3-E-2.2 Discuss how to get help from trusted adults in a health emergency (e.g., dial 911, firefighters, police, teachers, family, rangers).

  • Standard 4: Students will demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks.

  • 4-E-1: Use effective communication skills.
  • 4-E-1.1 Speak clearly and directly to express needs and emotions.

  • 4-E-1.2 Review verbal and non-verbal forms of communication.

  • 4-E-2: Demonstrate healthy ways to communicate needs, wants and feelings through verbal and non-verbal communication

  • 4-E-2.1 Use effective communication (I-messages) to communicate emotions and needs.

  • 4-E-2.2 Use words to identify emotions and communicate needs.

  • 4-E-2.4 Tell when to seek help from a trusted adult (e.g., fire, if threatened, crossing the street, water danger).

Physical Education Standards

  • Standard 4 Safety: Know and follow procedures and safe practices.

    • 4.K-1.1 Respond positively to reminders of appropriate safety procedures

    • 4.K-1.2 Follow directions and handle equipment safely

    • 4.K-1.4 Explain rules related to safety and activity-specific procedures

    • 4.K-1.1 Follows directions as they are given.

GRADE 1

Health Standards

  • Standard 4: Students will demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks.

    • 4-E-1: Practice effective communication skills.

    • 4-E-1.2 Demonstrate ways to respond when in an unwanted, threatening or dangerous situation.

    • 4-E-2: Demonstrate healthy ways to communicate needs, wants and feelings through verbal and non-verbal communication.

    • 4-E-2.1 Demonstrate how to express a range of emotions using words, expressions and body language.

  • Standard 5: Students will demonstrate the ability to use decision-making skills to enhance health.

    • 5-E-1: Discuss the steps of effective decision-making.

    • 5-E-1.1 Recognize the steps in making a decision.

    • 5-E-1.3 Differentiate between healthy and unhealthy decisions.

    • 5-E-1.4 Review when help is needed to make healthy decisions.

    • 5-E-2: Identify situations when a health-related decision is needed.

    • 5-E-2.1 Recognize choices or decisions that could affect family health.

    • 5-E-2.2 Explain a range of personal or family choices and how they enhance health.

    • 5-E-3: Apply a decision-making process to address personal health issues and problems.

    • 5-E-3.2 Distinguish between healthy and unhealthy choices

Physical Education

  • Standard 4: Safety Know and follow procedures and safe practices.

    • 4.1-1.1 Respond positively to reminders of appropriate safety procedures

    • 4.1-1.2 Follow directions and handle equipment safely

    • 4.1-1.3 Demonstrate individual work safely around others and in a shared space

    • 4.1-1.4 Explain rules related to safety and activity-specific procedures

GRADE 2

Health Standards

  • Standard 4: Students will demonstrate the ability to use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks.

    • 4-E-1: Develop effective communication skills.

    • 4-E-1.1 Define the steps to effective communication (e.g., listening, eye contact, body language).

    • 4-E-1.2 Practice using effective communication skills with peers.

    • 4-E-2: Demonstrate healthy ways to communicate needs, wants and feelings through verbal and non-verbal communication.

    • 4-E-2.1 Demonstrate verbal and non-verbal ways to communicate clearly.

  • Standard 5: Students will demonstrate the ability to use decision- making skills to enhance health.

    • 5-E-1: Discuss the steps of effective decision-making.

    • 5-E-1.1 Review steps in the decision-making process.

    • 5-E-1.2 Conclude that every decision has a consequence that may affect one’s health.

    • 5-E-2: Identify situations when a health-related decision is needed.

    • 5-E-2.1 Identify situations that could put one’s health or safety at risk.

Physical Education Standards

  • Standard 4. The physically literate individual exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others

    • 4.2-1.1 Respond positively to reminders of appropriate safety procedures

    • 4.2-1.2 Follow directions and handle equipment safely

    • 4.2-1.3 Participate and assess one’s behavior in physical activities

    • 4.2-1.4 Explain rules related to safety and activity-specific procedures

Bottomland Hardwood Trail Hike: Join Rangers Allyn and Natasha on a trail hike through a beautiful bottomland hardwood forest and see what kind of animals are waiting for you!

Bottomland Hardwood Trail Hike

Science Standards

  • K-LS-1-1: ORGANIZATION FOR MATTER AND ENERGY FLOW IN ORGANISMS All animals need food in order to live and grow. Animals obtain their food from plants or from other animals. Plants need water and light to live and grow. (LE.LS1C.a)

  • K-ESS3-1: NATURAL RESOURCES Living things need water, air, and resources from the land, and they live in places that have the things they need. Humans use natural resources for everything they do. (LE.ESS3A.a)

  • 1-LS1-5: STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION All organisms have external parts. Different animals use their body parts in different ways to see, hear, grasp objects, protect themselves, move from place to place, and seek, find, and take in food, water, and air. Plants also have different parts (roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits) that help them survive and grow. (LE.LS1A.a) INFORMATION PROCESSING Animals have body parts that capture and convey different kinds of information needed for growth and survival. Animals respond to these inputs with behaviors that help them survive. Plants also respond to some external inputs. (LE.LS1D.a)

  • 2-LS2-5: INTERDEPENDENT RELATIONSHIPS IN ECOSYSTEMS Plants depend on water and light to grow. (LE.LS2A.a)

  • 2-LS4-1: BIODIVERSITY AND HUMANS There are many kinds of living things in any area, and they exist in different places on land, in water, and in air. (LE.LS4D.a)

  • 5-LS8-1: INTERDEPENDENT RELATIONSHIPS IN ECOSYSTEMS The food of almost any kind of animal can be traced back to plants. Organisms are related in food webs in which some animals eat plants for food and other animals eat the animals that eat plants. (UE.LS2A.a) Some organisms, such as fungi and bacteria, break down dead organisms and therefore operate as “decomposers.” Decomposition eventually restores (recycles) some materials back to the soil. (UE.LS2A.b)

  • 6-MS-ESS3: HUMAN IMPACTS ON EARTH SYSTEMS Typically as human populations and per-capita consumption of natural resources increase, so do the negative impacts on Earth unless the activities and technologies involved are engineered otherwise. (MS.ESS3C.b) BIOGEOLOGY Living organisms interact with Earth materials resulting in changes of the Earth. (MS.ESS2E.a) RESOURCE MANAGEMENT FOR LOUISIANA Responsible management of Louisiana’s natural resources promotes economic growth, a healthy environment, and vibrant productive ecosystems. (MS.EVS1B.a)

  • 6-MS-LS2-1: INTERDEPENDENT RELATIONSHIPS IN ECOSYSTEMS Organisms, and populations of organisms, are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors. (MS.LS2A.a) In any ecosystem, organisms and populations with similar requirements for food, water, oxygen, or other resources may compete with each other for limited resources, access to which consequently constrains their growth and reproduction. (MS.LS2A.b) Growth of organisms and population increases are limited by access to resources. (MS.LS2A.c)

  • 6-MS-LS2-2: INTERDEPENDENT RELATIONSHIPS IN ECOSYSTEMS Predatory interactions may reduce the number of organisms or eliminate whole populations of organisms. Mutually beneficial interactions, in contrast, may become so interdependent that each organism requires the other for survival. Although the species involved in these competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial interactions vary across ecosystems, the patterns of interactions of organisms with their environments, both living and nonliving, are shared. (MS.LS2A.d)

  • 6-MS-LS2-3: CYCLE OF MATTER AND ENERGY TRANSFER IN ECOSYSTEMS Food webs are models that demonstrate how matter and energy is transferred between producers, consumers, and decomposers as the three groups interact within an ecosystem. (MS.LS2B.a) Transfers of matter into and out of the physical environment occur at every level. (MS.LS2B.b) Decomposers recycle nutrients from dead plant or animal matter back to the soil in terrestrial environments or to the water in aquatic environments. (MS.LS2B.c) The atoms that make up the organisms in an ecosystem are cycled repeatedly between the living and nonliving parts of the ecosystem. Geochemical cycles include carbon, nitrogen, and the water cycle. (MS.LS2B.d)

  • 7-MS-LS1-6: ORGANIZATION FOR MATTER AND ENERGY FLOW IN ORGANISMS Plants, plant-like protists (including algae and phytoplankton), and other microorganisms use the energy from light, to make sugars (food) from carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and water from the environment through the process of photosynthesis, which also releases oxygen. These sugars can be used immediately or stored for growth or later use. (MS.LS1C.a)

  • 7-MS-LS2-5: ECOSYSTEM DYNAMICS, FUNCTIONING, AND RESILIENCE Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth’s terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem’s biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health. (MS.LS2C.b)


Name and Description

Activity Link

Louisiana State Education Standards

Urban Insects! Join Liz and Dr. Aimée Thomas on a hunt for insects at City Park in New Orleans! Then explore outside and find some insects on your own.

Urban Insects

Science Standards

  • 6-MS-LS2-1: INTERDEPENDENT RELATIONSHIPS IN ECOSYSTEMS

  • Organisms, and populations of organisms, are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors. (MS.LS2A.a) In any ecosystem, organisms and populations with similar requirements for food, water, oxygen, or other resources may compete with each other for limited resources, access to which consequently constrains their growth and reproduction. (MS.LS2A.b) Growth of organisms and population increases are limited by access to resources. (MS.LS2A.c)

  • 6-MS-LS2-2: INTERDEPENDENT RELATIONSHIPS IN ECOSYSTEMS Predatory interactions may reduce the number of organisms or eliminate whole populations of organisms. Mutually beneficial interactions, in contrast, may become so interdependent that each organism requires the other for survival. Although the species involved in these competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial interactions vary across ecosystems, the patterns of interactions of organisms with their environments, both living and nonliving, are shared. (MS.LS2A.d)

  • 7-MS-LS2-5: ECOSYSTEM DYNAMICS, FUNCTIONING, AND RESILIENCE Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth’s terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem’s biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health. (MS.LS2C.b) BIODIVERSITY AND HUMANS Changes in biodiversity can influence humans’ resources, such as food, energy, and medicines, as well as ecosystem services on which humans rely. (MS.LS4D.a) ENGINEERING DESIGN: DEVELOPING POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS A solution needs to be tested to prove the validity of the design and then modified on the basis of the test results in order to improve it. There are systematic processes for evaluating solutions with respect to how well they meet the criteria and constraints of a problem. Sometimes parts of different solutions can be combined to create a solution that is better than any of its predecessors. Models of all kinds are important for testing solutions (MS.ETS1B.a)

  • 7-MS-LS2-4: ECOSYSTEM DYNAMICS, FUNCTIONING, AND RESILIENCE Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations. (MS.LS2C.a)

  • 8-MS-LS1-4: GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF ORGANISMS Animals engage in characteristic behaviors that increase the odds of reproduction. (MS.LS1B.c) Plants (flowering and non-flowering) reproduce in a variety of ways, sometimes depending on animal behavior and specialized features for reproduction. (MS.LS1B.d) Group behavior has evolved because membership can increase the chances of survival for individuals and their genetic relatives. (MS.LS2D.a)

  • 8-MS-LS1-5: GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF ORGANISMS Genetic factors as well as local conditions affect the growth of the adult plant. (MS.LS1B.e)

  • 8-MS-LS4-3: EVIDENCE OF COMMON ANCESTRY AND DIVERSITY Anatomical similarities and differences between various organisms living today and between them and organisms in the fossil record, enable the reconstruction of evolutionary history and the inference of lines of evolutionary descent. (MS.LS4A.b) Comparison of the embryological development of different species also reveals similarities that show relationships not evident in the fully-formed anatomy. (MS.LS4A.c)

  • 8-MS-LS4-6: ADAPTATION Adaptation by natural selection acting over generations is one important process by which populations change over time in response to changes in environmental conditions. Traits that support successful survival and reproduction in the new environment tend to become more common; those that do not become less common. Thus, the distribution of traits in a population changes. (MS.LS4C.a)

Crawfish Dissection: These arthropods are an iconic species and food source in Southeastern Louisiana. We know “pinch the tail” and “suck the head”, but there is more to crawfish than just a boil! In this activity you will create your own crawfish with clay or playdough and follow along with Dr. Liz!

Crawfish Dissection

Science Standards

  • 6-MS-LS2-1: INTERDEPENDENT RELATIONSHIPS IN ECOSYSTEMS Organisms, and populations of organisms, are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors. (MS.LS2A.a) In any ecosystem, organisms and populations with similar requirements for food, water, oxygen, or other resources may compete with each other for limited resources, access to which consequently constrains their growth and reproduction. (MS.LS2A.b) Growth of organisms and population increases are limited by access to resources. (MS.LS2A.c)

  • 6-MS-LS2-2: INTERDEPENDENT RELATIONSHIPS IN ECOSYSTEMS Predatory interactions may reduce the number of organisms or eliminate whole populations of organisms. Mutually beneficial interactions, in contrast, may become so interdependent that each organism requires the other for survival. Although the species involved in these competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial interactions vary across ecosystems, the patterns of interactions of organisms with their environments, both living and nonliving, are shared. (MS.LS2A.d)

  • 7-MS-LS4-4: NATURAL SELECTION Natural selection leads to the predominance of certain traits in a population and the suppression of others. (MS.LS4B.a)

  • 7-MS-LS2-4: ECOSYSTEM DYNAMICS, FUNCTIONING, AND RESILIENCE Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations. (MS.LS2C.a)

  • 7-MS-LS2-5: ECOSYSTEM DYNAMICS, FUNCTIONING, AND RESILIENCE Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth’s terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem’s biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health. (MS.LS2C.b) BIODIVERSITY AND HUMANS Changes in biodiversity can influence humans’ resources, such as food, energy, and medicines, as well as ecosystem services on which humans rely. (MS.LS4D.a) ENGINEERING DESIGN: DEVELOPING POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS A solution needs to be tested to prove the validity of the design and then modified on the basis of the test results in order to improve it. There are systematic processes for evaluating solutions with respect to how well they meet the criteria and constraints of a problem. Sometimes parts of different solutions can be combined to create a solution that is better than any of its predecessors. Models of all kinds are important for testing solutions (MS.ETS1B.a)

  • 8-MS-LS1-4: GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF ORGANISMS Animals engage in characteristic behaviors that increase the odds of reproduction. (MS.LS1B.c) Plants (flowering and non-flowering) reproduce in a variety of ways, sometimes depending on animal behavior and specialized features for reproduction. (MS.LS1B.d) Group behavior has evolved because membership can increase the chances of survival for individuals and their genetic relatives. (MS.LS2D.a)

  • 8-MS-LS1-5: GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF ORGANISMS Genetic factors as well as local conditions affect the growth of the adult plant. (MS.LS1B.e)

  • 8-MS-LS4-3: EVIDENCE OF COMMON ANCESTRY AND DIVERSITY Anatomical similarities and differences between various organisms living today and between them and organisms in the fossil record, enable the reconstruction of evolutionary history and the inference of lines of evolutionary descent. (MS.LS4A.b) Comparison of the embryological development of different species also reveals similarities that show relationships not evident in the fully-formed anatomy. (MS.LS4A.c)

Water Hyacinth: Learn about one invasive species present at the Barataria Preserve, called the water Hyacinth. Then see if you can answer all of the questions and teach a sibling, friend, parent, or guardian about control measures for invasive species.

Water Hyacinth

Science Standards

  • 6-MS-LS2-1: INTERDEPENDENT RELATIONSHIPS IN ECOSYSTEMS Organisms, and populations of organisms, are dependent on their environmental interactions both with other living things and with nonliving factors. (MS.LS2A.a) In any ecosystem, organisms and populations with similar requirements for food, water, oxygen, or other resources may compete with each other for limited resources, access to which consequently constraints their growth and reproduction. (MS.LS2A.b) Growth of organisms and population increases are limited by access to resources. (MS.LS2A.c)

  • 6-MS-LS2-2: INTERDEPENDENT RELATIONSHIPS IN ECOSYSTEMS Predatory interactions may reduce the number of organisms or eliminate whole populations of organisms. Mutually beneficial interactions, in contrast, may become so interdependent that each organism requires the other for survival. Although the species involved in these competitive, predatory, and mutually beneficial interactions vary across ecosystems, the patterns of interactions of organisms with their environments, both living and nonliving, are shared. (MS.LS2A.d)

  • 7-MS-LS2-5: ECOSYSTEM DYNAMICS, FUNCTIONING, AND RESILIENCE Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth’s terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem’s biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health. (MS.LS2C.b) BIODIVERSITY AND HUMANS Changes in biodiversity can influence humans’ resources, such as food, energy, and medicines, as well as ecosystem services on which humans rely. (MS.LS4D.a) ENGINEERING DESIGN: DEVELOPING POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS A solution needs to be tested to prove the validity of the design and then modified on the basis of the test results in order to improve it. There are systematic processes for evaluating solutions with respect to how well they meet the criteria and constraints of a problem. Sometimes parts of different solutions can be combined to create a solution that is better than any of its predecessors. Models of all kinds are important for testing solutions (MS.ETS1B.a)

  • 7-MS-LS2-4: ECOSYSTEM DYNAMICS, FUNCTIONING, AND RESILIENCE Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations. (MS.LS2C.a)

  • 7-MS-LS4-4: NATURAL SELECTION Natural selection leads to the predominance of certain traits in a population and the suppression of others. (MS.LS4B.a)

  • 8-MS-LS1-4: GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF ORGANISMS Animals engage in characteristic behaviors that increase the odds of reproduction. (MS.LS1B.c) Plants (flowering and non-flowering) reproduce in a variety of ways, sometimes depending on animal behavior and specialized features for reproduction. (MS.LS1B.d) Group behavior has evolved because membership can increase the chances of survival for individuals and their genetic relatives. (MS.LS2D.a)

  • 8-MS-LS1-5 GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF ORGANISMS Genetic factors as well as local conditions affect the growth of the adult plant. (MS.LS1B.e)

Last updated: November 18, 2020

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