Suitable for Year 2 and above, and for those with disabilities
All pupils will dip in the pond and put their findings in trays to be looked at closely and identified. We also have a raised pond to make sure everyone is able to access.
Which season is best for this activity?
This activity is best done in the spring and summer months when the pond is full of newly developing and maturing creatures.
Learning objectives and links to the national curriculum
The contents of this activity should involve pupils in using the following practical scientific methods, processes or skills:
1. Asking questions and using their observations and ideas to suggest answers to questions.
2. Identifying and classifying
3. Gathering and recording data.
By the end of the session we want the pupils to have explored the rich variety of life forms found in the pond and dip to see what the catch;
to describe what they caught and record their findings; to name what they catch using identification charts; and to recognise 12 of the main forms of pond life they will find.
The session links directly to these National Curriculum Science Programmes of Study:
Key Stage 2 Animals including humans; Living Things and their Habitats
Outline of the Activity
The activity is divided into these sections.
The group will then be split into two and do the following activities in turn:
- Half of the group go out to the nature trail to play the pond dipping game. They find pictures of 12 of the main creatures they will find in the pond and, using what they have learnt in the classroom must decide what the creature is and what it eats.
- The other half of the group will go to the pond. Each pupil will have two goes at dipping, putting their findings into trays to be taken back to the classroom
- After all the pupils have done both activities they will come together back in the classroom to have a closer look at the creatures they have caught and record their findings on tally sheets.
Ideas for pre-visit learning
Before bringing a group to do this activity, here are a few ideas to help introduce the subject:
- What sort of creatures live in ponds?
- Do any of them have ponds in their gardens?
- Could they make ponds for their gardens? (There are a number of websites to help with this.)
- What would happen if a pond dried up and how can humans help?
Ideas for follow up work back at school
- Draw up record sheets for creatures found in the pond. Work out the BMWP scores for our pond.
- Discuss the fact that they found no fish in our pond. Why might we have decided not to stock it with fish?
- Create a pond in a basin or bucket and see what come to live there.