This activity involves teamwork and attention to detail as your students imagine that they have found themselves lost in the wilderness without their gear and the threat of sundown approaching! When they awake from a berry-induced nap, they find a strange compass, a computer, and a clue. They are on a mission to follow the clues ‘through the woods’ and to the campground for safety! They need to show their understanding of the principles of ecology and ecosystems in order to crack the hidden codes and find more clues.
The students will answer questions and follow directions/riddles to locate envelopes in the classroom with more clues. They will also be instructed along the way to input codes (in the form of letters and numbers) into the “Help for Lost Hikers” program, which is a Google Form that they will access online. As they input the consecutive codes into the Google Form, they will be brought closer and closer to the final clue, which will unlock only with the special code.
Teacher must provide envelopes (4 - 6" x 9" and 10 - 4.75" x 6.75" per student group of 4 - 6 students). You will also need one real or fake plant, and one stuffed animal of any type! All other materials are included, including detailed teacher directions for set-up and facilitation and an answer key to the student answer sheet.
The ecosystem questions include concepts covered in the Next Generation Science Standards NGSS MS-LS1-6 and MS-LS2-1 through -4. The topics include: vocabulary of ecosystem, population, community, and habitat, biotic versus abiotic factors, producers, consumers and decomposers, carnivore, herbavore, omnivore, predator versus prey, autotrophs and heterotrophs, the basic equation for photosynthesis, food chains and food webs, energy/biomass pyramid, analyzing data about changes in population, behavioral and structural adaptations, types of symbiosis (mutualism, commensalism, parasitism), and the concept of an invasive species.
Thanks for looking!