Kids Walking Unit Description | Background | Resources | Unit Outline | Evaluation

Unit Description

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Unit Outline

  1. Build Teams
    Introduce this tidepool unit and divide your class into six teams. Describe and assign the roles for each team member:

    • Lead Scientist - Organize team activities and monitor completion of assignments.
    • Transcriber - Take notes at team meetings and in charge of the final written report.
    • Data Collector - Keep accurate records of all data that the team collects.
    • Head Researcher - Coordinate and assign research topics to team members.

  2. Assign Species
    Assign one key species to each team. In addition to researching, your students will be analyzing actual photoplot slides that were taken during Cabrillo's intertidal zone study. The
    percent cover data determined by National Park Service scientists are available so that you and your students may compare results.

    California MusselCalifornia Mussels firmly attach to the rocks of the upper intertidal zone. The shells are thick and teardrop-shaped.
    California Mussel
    click to enlarge
    Common RockweedThe Common Rockweed is the most abundant of the brown algae in the upper rocky intertidal zone.
    Common Rockweed
    click to enlarge
    Owl LimpetOwl Limpets attain a shell length of up to 4 inches. It is believed that it takes at least 10 to 15 years for these limpets to reach full growth.
    Owl Limpet
    click to enlarge
    Acorn BarnacleAcorn Barnacles are common in the middle and high intertidal zones of southern California's rocky shores.
    Acorn Barnacle
    click to enlarge
    Goose BarnacleGoose Barnacles grow in clusters that have a fleshy, muscular stalk that resembles the long neck of a goose.
    Goose Barnacle
    click to enlarge
    Thatched BarnacleThatched Barnacles are very common on rocks in the low and middle tide zones of the exposed outer coast.
    Thatched Barnacle
    click to enlarge

  3. Complete Scientific Report
    From data collection and research activities each team will assemble a scientific report. You can download a template in ClarisWorks or Word 6.0 for your students to use. The template includes content suggestions for six main areas:

    • Introduction
    • Research
    • Purpose/Problem
    • Procedure
    • Data & Results
    • Conclusion

  4. Conduct Scientific Conference
    Set aside one full day for a formal scientific conference. Invite parents and other guests to attend. Organize your classroom for a panel discussion where you will act as moderator. Each team takes a turn on the panel and presents their scientific report. You, your guests, and classmates may ask questions of the panel team and discuss their important findings. Together as a whole group you should generate hypotheses that attempt to provide an explanation for what is happening at the Cabrillo tidepools.

  5. Ask the Scientists
    Based on the outcome of the scientific conference you and your students may still have many unanswered questions. Contact George Herring at to arrange a chat session with a scientist at the Cabrillo National Monument.

  6. Stretch Beyond Cabrillo Tidepools
    By now you may feel that you and your students have become experts of the tidepools in Southern California. What about the tidepools further north along the California coast? Or tidepools of other coastlines of the world? Are these areas experiencing the same effects as Cabrillo National Monument? What about other ecosystems--deserts, forests, lakes, etc.? What can we say about the world based upon one small tidepool area?

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You will evaluate how well your students have met the goals and objectives of this unit. You will want to make them aware of how you will assess their efforts. Be sure to supply each student with copies of these two evaluation rubrics:
A Triton Project unit
Created by Janice Thiel
Under the direction of Bernie Dodge
Last updated on May 16, 1997.

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