UCMP Lessons  

Diversity Walk

Author: Al Janulaw

Overview: In this lesson students take a walk around the school grounds to discover the diversity of life that exists there.

Lesson Concepts:

Grade Span: 3–5


Advance Preparation:

— Duplicate one “Living Things Recording Sheet” (HTML or pdf) for each student.
— Walk around the school grounds ahead of time to check out the richest resources.

Time: One class period

Grouping: Solo or pairs

Teacher Background:

The purpose of this lesson is to bring to students’ attention that we are always surrounded by many life forms. Typical living things to be found on a schoolground are: various trees, grasses, dandelions, clover, algae, spiders, pill bugs, sow bugs, flies, wasps, beetles, tiny unidentifiable insects, various birds (such as starlings, blackbirds, crows, and gulls), and people. For many living things, a general identity is fine. For example, there are many species of grass and dandelion, but “grass” and “dandelion” may be specific enough for this lesson.

Teacher Resources: Tree, flower, insect and bird field guides

Explore this link for additional information on the topics covered in this lesson:

Vocabulary: variety, diverse/diversity


  1. Tell students that the class is going to try to locate and identify every living thing on the school grounds. When we are doing science, we are very observant and we record our results.
  2. Pass out a “Living Things Recording Sheet” and a clipboard to each student.
  3. Explain that the purpose of the expedition is to find living things and to record their identity and location, but not to collect them. All living things have homes, and they should all be left in the condition in which they were found. (E.g., if a rock is turned over, it should be replaced just as it was found.)
  4. Each student is responsible for recording his or her own discoveries, but students are welcome to walk together and to discuss what they find.
  5. Have the class scour the school grounds, finding and recording every living thing possible. Have them identify things based on their own knowledge or look them up after the outing.
  6. Return to the classroom and discuss the class results. Help the students to realize how many types of living things exist. If there are this many on our school grounds, imagine how many there are in the entire world.
  7. Wrap-up: Have each student make a large drawing of his or her favorite discovery with a little description of where it was found and what it was doing. Display the drawings.


Collect small things from school and home and set up a temporary terrarium of locally found life. It would probably be best to limit the collection to invertebrates and plants.

Updated November 19, 2003

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