Middle School 5-8

See also Spreadsheet of ALL LESSONS - BY GRADE LEVEL & SUBJECT
NOTE ON TRAVELING TRUNK lesson below: Though we encourage teachers to actually borrow Traveling Trunks, if that is not possible, the on-line resources for each trunk contain valuable tools & activities for lessons that can also be conducted independently.
Illustrating Flint Hills Earth Cycles: 6-Panel Comic Strip - Grades 5-6
Students synthesize one of the 4 main Earth Cycles represented in the Exhibit, by creating a comic strip sequence of 6 features of the cycle, using comic/graphic art conventions of panel, caption, speech balloons, etc.
Art, Science

Scavenger Hunt Unit  
   - Exploring Wildlife & Geology in Tallgrass Prairie Illustration (Middle School Map Exhibit)- Grades 5-8
- see also Toolbox Inter-active Wildlife Species Pop-ups in Tallgrass Prairie Illustration
Students explore 58 native species and geologic features found in the Tallgrass Prairie Illustration on the Middle School Map Exhibit Side Panel, learning characteristics and how to identify them.
Five activities to choose from (or do all): Students find and name the creatures, classify them by type, observe their physiology and habitat as shown in the illustration, research interesting facts about them, determine and explain relationships between four pairs, and evaluate findings in a brief writing activity. They are encouraged to extend learning with additional research into one or more organisms. In an assessment, students identify 30 of the wildlife & geologic features in the illustration.
Science, Social Studies, Technology-Research, Reading and Writing

Where Does the Water Go? - Grades 6-8
Next Generation Science Standards
Raw climate and stream outflow data is collected, graphed and analyzed by students for the community in which they are located. Results of the graphing are used to explain the water cycle.
Science, Math, Language Arts

Notable Features of a Watershed - Grades 6-8
Next Generation Science Standards
Students observe and chart porous and impervious features of the watershed. Summarize the effect the features have on the water quality and outflow.
Science, Math, Lang Arts

Measuring Slope - Grades 6-8
Earth Partnership for Schools
Plot slopes in outdoor learning area. Use mathematical formula to convert into slope %. Complete cause effect summary over relationship between how steep the slope is and erosion. This is an example open-source lesson plan from the Earth Partnership for Schools.
Science, Math, Lang Arts

What Ought to Rot - Scientific Methods in Archaeology- grades 6-8
Society for American Archaeology
Lesson is at pgs 6-11 in booklet “Teaching Archaeology”
Fun and meaningful activity teaches and uses the scientific method to simulate what happens to archaeological materials in different sites:  frozen, dry, humid, underwater, and wet clay.
Science, Social Studies-History

Puzzles From the Past: Problem-Solving Through Archaeology - Grades 6-8
Traveling Resource Trunk - Kansas Historical Society
This traveling resource trunk combines an exploration of Native American cultures with an introduction to basic archeological concepts. Teaching materials contained in this trunk include lesson plans, reproductions of American Indian tools, objects found in historic archeology sites, and photographs. The six lessons in this trunk explore the lifestyles of some Plains Indian people using the critical thinking skills archeologists utilize.
Social Studies; Science

Cattle Trail Cowboys - Grade 7
*Traveling Resource Trunk - Kansas State Historical Society
5 Lesson Plans. Students learn how Kansas towns, Texas entrepreneurs, railroads, and young men seeking work and adventure all came together to create one of the most well-known periods in our nation’s history. What was life like on those cattle drives? How did young men survive hours in a saddle and months on the dusty trail? What kind of danger lay ahead of them as they started up the trail? Students explore those questions and more as they examine cowboy gear, listen to a folk song, and read the words of the cowboys themselves.
History and Language Arts - Reading

Burning and Beef Production Ratios: Percent of Increase in Cattle Weight - Grades 7-8
As background, students learn about effect of pasture burning both for range management and for beef production; they use proportional relationships to calculate the percent of increase in weight for a calf pastured on burned pasture and unburned pasture.