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May 22
7th Graders Explore their Backyard School Forest

teachingByFence.gifBy Gretchen Marshall

Weyauwega-Fremont 7th grade students were treated to a field trip facilitated by college students from UWSP in early May. A group of UWSP students, majoring in environmental education, were given the task of providing a field lesson experience to a group of students. Mr. Winn's 7th grade science students were able to benefit from this opportunity. The 7th graders participated in 3 different lessons in their "Backyard" (Our Backyard is the name of the Weyauwega-Fremont school forest as they are fortunate to have it right out the back doors of the school.)


In the LEAF Tree Identification lesson, students were able to learn vocabulary terms used to identify trees and how to use a dichotomous key. At first students struggled with opposite/alternate, simple/compound, and did you know leaves have sinuses?...but by the end, they did a fantastic job with the vocabulary and identifying the mystery trees.


The Field, Forest, and Stream lesson compared these 3 different habitats by having students collecting data and make observations. It was a great lesson in biodiversity and how the conditions found in each habitat determines the types of organisms that can live there. You can find this lesson in your PLT guide.


Students were also able to learn about indicator species by sampling aquatic invertebrates. They identified and determined the degree of water quality found in the Waupaca River which borders the northern side of the school forest.  Students found more than just invertebrates, but also found bullheads, trout fry, and tadpoles. They determined that the river was a healthy ecosystem and supported a great diversity of life.


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