Science Investigators

Grade Level: 3–5

Working in small groups, students will act as scientists, using a field notebook tablet app to observe and investigate animals in the Wild Reef exhibit. Observing animals and looking more closely at their behavior lets us learn more about them and make predictions. After the field trip, you will receive an electronic copy of your students’ field notebook observations.

Missions 1 and 2 are required to familiarize you and your students with the experience you’ll have at Shedd Aquarium. Missions 3 through 5 are suggested because we think they’re great ways to prepare students to get the most out of their field trip. We have also included post-trip activities for use in your classroom. 

Continue to Mission 1 -->

This project was made possible in part by the Institute for Museum and Library Services.
Institute of Museum and Library Services

NGSS Standard

3-LS4-3. Construct an argument that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all. [Clarification Statement: Examples of evidence could include needs and characteristics of the organisms and habitats involved. The organisms and their habitat make up a system in which the parts depend on each other.]

4-LS1-1. Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction. [Clarification Statement: Examples of structures could include thorns, stems, roots, colored petals, heart, stomach, lung, brain, and skin.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to macroscopic structures within plant and animal systems.]

Teacher Information

Where: For this experience, please meet us in the Wild Reef exhibit. You will need to take an elevator down to the entrance of this exhibit. We will meet you at the bottom.After a short orientation, students will be able to explore the Wild Reef exhibit at their own pace. There is no time limit to this activity, although we find that it takes most groups around 30 minutes to complete.

What: Students will use science journals to do species observations, behavior observations and mouth observations. Students may pick the animal or habitat of their choice for each of these activities. 

Tips for Success

Students will work in pairs for this experience. If you would prefer to choose who will be partners, please be sure to let students know before they begin this activity. If you would like for students to remain with their chaperone groups, please be sure that student pairs are in the same group.

We have included a page with chaperone tips. Please print and distribute this information to chaperones before your visit. 

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