Why Do Sunflowers Follow the Sun?

Description:  This is an excellent phenomenon that can be used in many different units. According to researchers only young sunflowers will follow the Sun. These flowers are following a natural circadian rhythm to receive the most light for photosynthesis. However when they mature the flowers will mainly face east. The reason for this is fairly simple, bees like warm flowers, and the flowers facing the east are the warmest.

Web Resources:  The Mystery Of Why Sunflowers Turn To Follow The Sun — Solved - NPR, Helianthus - Wikipedia


Plant Your Socks

Description:  This phenomenon will show students the diversity of plants in their local habitats. If you collect seeds from various locations (e.g. meadow, forest, etc.) you will see differences in the plants that grow. The socks mimic the functioning of animals as they move seeds from one location to another. This planting could also be combined with an investigation of what plants need to survive. The amount of sunlight and water could be varied with each of the different socks.

Web Resource: How Stuff Works


Dolphins and Humans Fishing Together

Description:  Bottlenose dolphins in Laguna, Brazil have learned to fish with humans. The dolphins drive shoals of mullet towards the human fisherman and then give a signal. The fisherman throw their nets which catch the fish and drive some of them back into the mouths of waiting dolphins. This mutualistic behavior benefits both the humans and the dolphins.

Web Resource: New Scientist Article


Exploring Microhabitats

Description:  Microhabitats can be found anywhere and they can lead to amazing exploration and discovery. An overturned decomposing log or the underside of a rock in a stream are excellent examples of microhabitats. Both a habitat and a microhabitat have typical abiotic (e.g. water, temperature, light. etc.) properties and biotic (e.g. plants, animals, fungi, etc.) factors. The nice thing about a microhabitat is that it is more accessible and a diversity of life can be found in an area that is not very diverse. If microhabitats are not available locally you can create one in your classroom. A terrarium or an aquarium is a great example of a microhabitat.

Web Resource: Microhabitats - Wikipedia