Classroom bio-blitz
Classroom bio-blitz

Indoor Bio-Blitz!

Where should we look in our school?

Lesson Summary

Lesson Summary: Set up a Bio-Blitz to collect great photographic data for the Never Home Alone iNaturalists project.

Essential Question(s): Where should we, as scientists in our school, search for evidence of arthropods inside our classroom and school? How can we work as a team to collect the best evidence to upload to iNaturalist’s Never Home Alone platform?

Established Goals/Objectives: At the conclusion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Explain the purpose of a bioblitz and why biodiversity matters
  • Students learn about the arthropods and their habitat, and where within the habitat of the classroom and school there is evidence to collect for the Citizen Science project
  • Record and share observations

Materials: iPads, macro lenses, map of school, science/STEM notebooks, lights (flashlights)

21st Century Skills – Critical Thinking, Collaboration (assigned roles), Technology Literacy

Teacher Background Information: What is a BIOBLITZ?

  • A BioBlitz is an event that focuses on finding and identifying as many species as possible in a specific area over a short period of time. At a BioBlitz, scientists, families, students, teachers, and other community members work together to get a snapshot of an area’s biodiversity. These events can happen in most any geography—urban, rural, or suburban—in areas as small as a backyard or as large as a country.
  • Smartphone technologies and apps such as iNaturalist make collecting photographs and biological information about living things easy as part of a BioBlitz. High quality data uploaded to iNaturalist become part of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, an open source database used by scientists and policy makers around the world. From: National Geographic

Activity/Investigation: This activity would be the actual collection of usable data for the iNaturalist project. A major part of this will be useful strategies for teachers so that they can evaluate student work before it is shared with the project. This could be small-group, classroom, grade level or whole school. This will also have suggestions on where to look (windowsills, corners, light fixtures) — and what to do when students come across a live specimen, etc.

BioBlitz Scaffolding: Using iNaturalist

  • Data literacy skills
  • Common experience
  • Collect – organize – analysis
  • Inconclusive results still mean something
  • Share out

Next Generation Science Standards

  • MS-LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics: MS-LS2-1: Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
  • Science and Engineering Practice 3: Planning and carrying out investigations.

NC Standards

5.L.2 Understand the interdependence of plants and animals with their ecosystems.
5.L.2.1 Compare characteristics of several common ecosystems, including estuaries and salt marshes, oceans, lakes and ponds, forests, and grasslands.
5.L.2.2 Classify the organisms within an ecosystem according to the function they serve: producers, consumers, or decomposers (biotic factors).
5.L.2.3 Infer the effects that may result from the interconnected relationship of plants and animals to their ecosystem.
4.L.1 Understand the effects of environmental changes, adaptations and behaviors that enable animals (including humans) to survive in changing habitats.
4.L.1.1 Give examples of changes in an organism’s environment that are beneficial to it and some that are harmful.
4.L.1.2 Explain how animals meet their needs by using behaviors in response to information received from the environment.
4.L.1.3 Explain how humans can adapt their behavior to live in changing habitats (e.g., recycling wastes, establishing rain gardens, planting trees and shrubs to prevent flooding and erosion).
4.L.1.4 Explain how differences among animals of the same population sometimes give individuals an advantage in suriving and reproducing in changing habitats.
1.L.1.1 Recognize that plants and animals need air, water, light (plants only), space, food and shelter and that these may be found in their environment.
1.L.1.2 Give examples of how the needs of different plants and animals can be met by their environments in North Carolina or different places throughout the world.

This lesson was prepared by Gregory Eyman, K-5 STEM, Brentwood Magnet Elementary School of Engineering.

Never Home Alone: Lessons and Activities