Unit Plan: Field Study – Pond

Science / Grade 4

Big Ideas


  • All living things sense and respond to their environment.


  • Interactions
  • Environment
  • Survival
  • Stewardship
  • Interdependence
  • Ecosystems
  • Adaptation
Essential Questions

Students will keep considering…

  • How do living things sense and respond to their environment?
  • What does using my senses in nature look, sound, feel, taste and smell like?
  • How do my senses compare to the senses of other plants and animals?
  • How is sensing and responding related to interdependence within ecosystems?
Evaluative Criteria


Monitoring Progress

Teacher will monitor progress:
Teachers can monitor progress through ongoing formative assessment including but not limited to:

  • Class discussion
  • Group and pair discussions





How will teachers and their students reflect on and evaluate the completed project?

Teacher Reflection

  • What aspects of the field study went well?
  • What did students struggle with?
  • What did you struggle with?
  • What would you add/revise the next time you taught this field study?
  • What connections can I make back to my school learning community?
  • Organize a bioblitz event in your school yard or in nearby nature.
  • Develop a plan of action to address a selected environmental problem or issue related to water systems

Unit Overview








Unit Overview

In this field study, students will participate in a bioblitz, an event that focusses on finding and identifying as many organisms as possible within a certain time frame. First, students will explore a pond ecosystem and search for interesting organisms. Next, students will use a Pond ID Card to identify which organisms are in the pond. Then, each student will select an organism to study and ask questions that can be answered through observation alone. They ask simple questions about the organism’s obvious structures, then move onto questions about organism’s behavior, habitat and relationships to other organisms. Students share out with partners and then the whole group how pond organisms sense and respond to their environment (Reference: Beetles). Finally, students participate in citizen science by sharing their data with other field study groups.





Unit Duration

2 hours


Related Big Ideas


The following resources are made available through the British Columbia Ministry of Education. For more information, please visit BC’s New Curriculum.


Big Ideas

The Big Ideas consist of generalizations and principles and the key concepts important in an area of learning. The Big Ideas represent what students will understand at the completion of the curriculum for their grade. They are intended to endure beyond a single grade and contribute to future understanding.

Visit the Ministry of Education for more information

Core Competencies

orangecommunicationCommunications Competency

The set of abilities that students use to impart and exchange information, experiences and ideas, to explore the world around them, and to understand and effectively engage in the use of digital media

bluethinkingThinking Competency

The knowledge, skills and processes we associate with intellectual development

greensocialSocial Competency

The set of abilities that relate to students’ identity in the world, both as individuals and as members of their community and society

Visit the Ministry of Education for more information

Curricular Competencies & Content

Curricular Competencies are the skills, strategies, and processes that students develop over time. They reflect the “Do” in the Know-Do-Understand model of curriculum. The Curricular Competencies are built on the thinking, communicating, and personal and social competencies relevant to disciplines that make up an area of learning.

Visit the Ministry of Education for more information

Additional Resources

First People's Principles of Learning

To read more about First People’s Principles of Learning, please click here.

For classroom resources, please visit the First Nations Education Steering Committee.