Guiding Question: What can I learn about the environment from its physical characteristics?
This activity is going to explore the process of plotting and surveying in a simplified form. You will work together to make predictions, establish a plot, make notes, and describe findings. This activity is best conducted in an outdoor space.
[Give a brief introduction to the Aleza Lake Research Forest Society.] What do they do, why they do it, and how they do it?
What do you think forestry involves? What are a forester’s responsibilities? What is the point of forestry?
Foresters have a variety of jobs, but the ones we are talking about today are the timbercruising and silviculture surveying. These jobs involve studying the make-up and development of forest growth to learn whether the forest will produce merchantable trees and when. Merchantable trees are trees that have grown wide, tall, and healthy enough to provide sellable wood.
Discuss the reasoning behind foresters wearing visi-vests, hard hats, and other safety-wear. Why would they wear these things? What are some dangers of working in the forest?
Divide into small groups (3-5). Each group will get a rope, a notebook, and a pencil. Each group is going to do the following things:
1. Make Predictions:
Diagram # 1: Establish a plot. Image from Fulcrum, "Calculate radius for plot sampling," accessed April 20, 2020.
2. Establish a Plot:
With predictions in mind, find a place in the outdoors to establish a plot with your group. Look for a space with a wide variety of plants in the environment. If possible, try to keep a few feet away from other groups.
Create your plot:
3. Conduct Research:
Once the plot has established, answer the following questions in your notebook (these can be written down in your notebooks ahead of time). All questions must be answered with information within the plot that has been established.
Clean up your plot and remove any flagging tape (or ribbon or string) that you used to mark your plot. Try to make the area look as though you were never there.
4. Assess Results:
Come back together as a class to talk about findings. What were some of your findings? What kind of deductions can you make? Do plants with better sunlight grow taller? Do some plants enjoy being close to each other? Why do you think that is?
Learning Intention: Learners will understand a simplified plotting and surveying process.
Core Competency Focus - Collaboration: I can confidently interact and build relationships with other group members to further shared goals. I can identify and apply roles and strategies to facilitate groupwork. I draw on past experiences to negotiate and develop group processes. I am an active listener and speaker. I share my ideas and try to connect them with others’ ideas, I ask clarifying questions and check for understanding when appropriate, and I test my ideas with others and consider their input. I help resolve conflicts and challenges as they arise. I recognize how my contributions and those of others complement each other. I can plan with others and adjust our plan according to the group’s purpose.
Big Ideas: All living things sense and respond to their environment (Grade 4 Science). Multicellular organisms rely on internal systems to survive, reproduce, and interact with their environment (Grade 6 Science).
Geoffrey R. Weller Library
University of Northern British Columbia
3333 University Way
Prince George, B.C. V2N 4Z9
Circulation: (250) 960-6613
Reference: (250) 960-6475
Regional Services: 1-888-440-3440
(toll free within 250 area code)