Hams Hall Pond (Secondary)

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Aims and objectives
Hams Hall Pond can be used to introduce and develop the themes of Variation, inheritance and evolution and Living things in their environment. The pond provides the opportunity to investigate freshwater ecosystems, which are often as complex and varied as those on land.

Previous knowledge
Although no direct previous knowledge is necessary, it would be advantageous if there is access to a local pond so that pupils can experience pond life first hand and place their learning into a real life context.

In the classroom
This activity centres around Hams Hall Pond in Warwickshire. Start at the Virtual Pond and work through the activities to gain a real insight into freshwater environments. Activities include an interactive life cycles game, a reference library based on the major classification groups and a decision making exercise using identification keys.

The aim of Hams Hall pond is to stimulate pupils’ interest in the different kinds of plants and animals in a local environment. For this reason, the Virtual Pond is a good place to start. As pupils watch videos of the Virtual Pond, they can read interesting facts about its inhabitants. They are encouraged to learn more by visiting the Pond Library and in certain places, links take pupils to other relevant web sites.

In the Pond Library, pupils can search for creatures by their initial letter or by which classification group creatures belong to. They are also encouraged to discover other pond creatures that have not been included in the pond library.

There are a series of food chain and food web activities which will develop and test student understanding about feeding relationships. To support this the Virtual Pond contains animations and information about some of the more common life forms found in and around the average pond.

The ID Keys models how branching keys can be created and used to identify the different creatures found in a pond. This principle of identification can be extended to other areas of the curriculum.

Because of the nature of the activity, not only does it provide an engaging way of gaining pupils’ interest in natural habitats and the environment but it is also an invaluable reference resource in the classroom.

Support materials description: Resource type:
The resource Pond_Life.pdf contains images of all the common creatures likely to be found in a pond. This can be printed out either for reference purposes or, if laminated, creating a display. Pond_Life.pdf

Curriculum references
Science – KS3:
Sc2 4a-c; 5a-f

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