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Grade 6: Into the Wild

Sixth graders studying the environment concluded that Cherry Creek State Park has a healthy stream running through it after collecting and observing macro invertebrates (water organisms) that are known to be pollution intolerant. It was all part of a lesson in Aaron Murray’s science class that took students into the wild for a hands-on lab assignment. 
After first sketching the scenery at the park and noting biotic and abiotic elements of the landscape, scientists put on water shoes to wade into the cool stream. They used nets to scoop water and trap specimens or picked up rocks to find the bugs clinging to the wet surfaces underneath. With help from a printed field guide, they identified mayfly and stonefly nymphs, caddisfly larva, crayfish, and the occasional fish that need clean water to survive. They discussed the various behavioral and physical/physiological adaptations for the organisms and how these characteristics enabled them to survive and thrive in their aquatic environment. 
Following the field work, students were challenged to design their own organism and research various adaptations that would help their organism survive in a chosen Colorado life zone. They used their understanding from their field observations as well as research to design a well-adapted organism. Nice work, sixth grade scientists!

Learn more about Mr. Murray here!

Graland Country Day School

Graland Country Day School is a private school in Denver, Colorado, serving students in preschool, kindergarten, elementary, and middle school. Founded in Denver in 1924, Graland incorporates a rich, experiential learning approach in a traditional classroom setting, emphasizing the development of globally and socially conscious leaders who excel academically.