Sunday, November 11, 2012

Plant Decomposition/ Animals Play Their Part

Two students worked closely together to think more about the role animals might play in the decomposition process.  Working collaboratively, they created the following art works:
A spiderweb, complete with yellow spider, fly, and a snail

F's preliminary study of decomposers
N's preliminary study - with web, snake, snail, and fly
In sharing their work with the class, they suggested that the spider uses plants to hang its web. This also generated ideas about how animals decompose other animals and eat them - a great precursor to understanding living creatures' interdependency and how food webs work.    

D:  They might eat the leaves and use them like webbing.
S:  I think that when the spiders eat the flies, that gives them energy to make a web.  
L:  The fly eats the plant and the spider eats the fly. 
L:  Web builders have spinnarets that spin the web and make it.  
E:  The spider wraps the fly up in silk and eats it. 
T:  The snail...I don't really think they eat the plant.  
N:  The snails can decompose the plant when it falls down.
T:  I thought that when they move, they leave slime.  
F:  I've seen snails eat strawberry plants.  
N:  About the snake:  I didn't know.  I was just guessing.  We could investigate.  Do some snakes eat just plants?
This prompted another student to think about another animal that plays an integral role 
in the decomposition/disintegration process:
Super Worm!

T's picture of the worms making the soil (soyll) and the birds who enjoy these tasty treats
Clearly, what happens underground in the decomposition process is just as important as what happens above ground.  Our investigations of our own seed babies and the soil they lived and died in created more questions for our curious minds to solve.  The stage is set for us to start thinking more deeply about living systems.

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I am just blown away by the level of detail in those drawings!