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Pond Dipping: A recount of a boy and his mother esploring their local pond (Collins Big Cat Phonics)

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Half fill your flat tray with water from the pond. This will act as a temporary home to any pond life you find. Gently turn the net inside out into the tray. Once everything has settled, you should be able to view a fascinating selection of pond-dwelling creatures. A pipette can be used to transfer individual specimens to a magnifying pot for a closer look. Move away from the edge of the pond but be careful as it can get slippery! Empty your catch into the container filled with pond water. As the water settles you’ll be able to see the creatures moving around. Record and find out what animals you have caught then repeat the process. For many naturalists, some of the most exciting encounters with wildlife as a child were around the edge of a pond, with a net in hand and a sampling tray filled with murky water. It is an excellent activity for children of all ages and is a great way to introduce them to a wide range of plants, insects and amphibians. It offers the opportunity to learn about food chains and food webs as well as discovering some of the amazing insect transformations during their lifecycles. For school groups, a pond dipping trip will satisfy many of the criteria for learning about life processes and living things, and it can also be used to provide inspiration for art, maths or English projects. Younger children will enjoy drawing or painting pictures of the creatures they find, as well as writing stories about their experiences.

May to August are the best months for pond dipping as this is when most creatures will be active and breeding. Any body of still water is suitable for studying, but make sure that you have permission to access the area and that the bank of the pond provides safe access to the water. Ponds with a variety of vegetation and open water are likely to support a high diversity of species. What to do: Gills, streamlining, hairy leg paddles, webbed feet, air bubbles/sacs, siphons that work like snorkels and use of surface tension are all examples of adaptations to life on or in water. Teacher Demonstration

urn:lcp:ponddipping0000hunt:epub:7665f656-4829-4d1e-9c2b-16e2247be3ff Foldoutcount 0 Grant_report Arcadia #4081 Identifier ponddipping0000hunt Identifier-ark ark:/13960/s26np421hdh Invoice 1605 Isbn 9780198481829 If you have a garden with a pond or family/friends with one you can use that’s ideal. Don’t worry if not, there’s plenty of ponds or streams in parks or green spaces. Some parks and nature reserves will even have special pond dipping platforms. If you’re not in a public park or green area then please make sure you’ve got permission from the owner of your chosen pond. What you will need: Working in groups of three to an observation tray, the students should show you the ‘sideways on, knees bent’ position once more, before starting the activity. They can take it in turns to approach the pond and do a sweep with the net as you demonstrated. Once they have emptied the net into the tray, the next student can take the net and repeat the process. The first student can start looking in the tray and separating and identifying the creatures while the other dips. Repeat again for the third student so the whole group has a turn.

When the students arrive, carrying their SmartCases and equipment, they should place their pond nets next to the observation trays along with the observation dishes, plastic spoons and ID guides. When you have finished, make sure to return all water and inhabitants to the pond. Trays, pots and nets should be rinsed and dried thoroughly before storage. From their observations, ask the children to act out the way the pond creature’s move. Many pond creatures have distinct ways of moving e.g. leech – extends and contracts, water boatman – swims using led paddles, worms – wiggle. This could be carried out in a P.E. or swimming lesson. National projects In this teaching guide you will find the following resources to ensure optimum use of the kit equipment, and best possible learning outcomes for your pupils: You’re ready to start dipping! It’s time to move your net through open water with the whole of the net bag under the surface. Swirl your net through the water and try to make a figure of eight as you do it. Different creatures prefer different depths of the pond so make sure you sweep from the surface to towards the bottom.

These strong white trays are ideal for pond dipping as they are robust and stable enough to be carried when full of water. Available in three sizes. Like any activity that takes place in nature. It is so important to always be safe and ensure the safety of the pond dippers as well as the safety of the wildlife you will be handling. It’s also important to be considerate of nature and leave an area as you find it. We have four beautifully planted raised ponds in our Pond Zone where you get the chance to dip for nymphs, water boatmen and water fleas using equipment provided at timed sessions.

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