This is an educational program about vernal pools designed for 4th- and 5th-grade classes. The new and expanded Version 3 has thirteen lessons and an optional field trip. This program is being used by numerous Sacramento County school districts. Field trips and the Critter Catalog & Flower Facts focus on the Mather Field vernal pools in eastern Sacramento County.
All lessons linked below are in PDF format. You need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print the files. Low Res files are for on-screen review - use the High Res files for printing. Instructions for downloading the entire Teacher's Manual are at the bottom of the page.
Lesson Three: Vernal Pool Phases and Introduction to Critters
The Wet Phase: Winter in the Vernal Pools
The Flower Phase: Spring in the Vernal Pools
The Dry Phase: Summer and Fall
The Three Phases of a Vernal Pool
Vernal Pool Cross-Section Worksheet
Vernal Pool Phases Worksheet
The lesson pages and worksheets from the Teacher's Manual can be made into transparencies for use in class discussion. Using a color transparency in the classroom while distributing black-and-white versions for individual student use is an economic way to share the handouts. Worksheets can be made into black-and-white transparencies to be completed as a class participation project.
The Critter Catalog & Flower Facts are available on the website under Vernal Pool Plants and Vernal Pool Animals. High-resolution printer-friendly PDF versions are also available for those who may wish to compile the fact sheets into a loose leaf binder. We recommend that these be laminated so that the students can take them into the field.
The ten minute introductory video for the Life in Our Watershed: Investigating Vernal Pools is available on the website.
Critter and Flower Activity Cards(2.6 MB) 4" by 3-1/4" cards can be used for a variety of match and recognition games. They are also great references for use during field trips, especially if you can laminate the pages.
Wet Phase and Flower Phase Scavenger Hunts (800 Kb)
Scavenger hunt worksheets that can be used during field trips to Mather Field.
Flower Power Notes
Lesson Nine extension which allows students to give commercials about the flowers and take notes about the other flowers.
Download the Entire Program
High-resolution printer-friendly PDF files of the entire educational program are available for download. Note that these files are very large and download times may be up to an hour each depending upon your connection. To download the files using your web browser, right click (or option click) on the links below and select "save target as..."
In this entertaining ten-minute video, Professor X. Plorer
introduces viewers to the many wonders of vernal pools. The video
should be shown in the classroom to help orient students before
they dive into the Splash Elementary Curriculum.
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