Monday, March 30, 2020

The Fallen Log PLT Activity # 23

In continuing the process of constantly learning something new during this COVID-19 pandemic, I took the challenge, from the Maine Project Learning Tree coordinator, of creating a video to showcase the Project Learning Tree Activity #23, "The Fallen Log." Well, actually, Drew created the video and I did the dialog and took the still shots. By the way, my video along with others featuring more activities are featured on the Maine Project Learning Tree website under Educator Resources, Nature at Home. They are also on a National Project Learning Tree Youtube channel. 
Update: By the way...not to brag... but as of November, 2021, I have had 2.6K views of my video!

Here is a pdf of the data sheet that I created to go along with the activity, in case you want to give it a try;-) And, here is a fallen log data sheet from the Minnesota PLT. And, here is a great little poster about lichens;-)

This little 13 minute video took 3 days to create. First, I went out into our back woods and walked around our yard to find interesting locations, and to do some close-up still shots of items of interest. Then, I looked at the PLT Pre K-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide to see the focus of the activity, and visited the Project Learning Tree website for ideas from there, as well. From this material, I wrote my script (which gave me key points to emphasize.) Did I follow it exactly? Nope.
I call this "Loghenge." The pileated woodpeckers love it, as do a variety of other organisms.
I decided on three focal points of interest. Even though the activity focuses on a fallen log, I also wanted to highlight standing logs and a rotting stump as well, all in different stages of decomposition. And, I wanted to keep it local to show kids that you can find things of interest in your own yard, a local park, or even at your school. You don't have to wander far into the woods to do your investigation. 

As far a making the video, we made sure that the sun was behind us when shooting as we didn't want any glare. We used a point and shoot camera with good video quality. We also used iMovie for the processing and assembling of the video, audio, and still photos. I hope that it will be helpful for you...

One more thing. Check out the National Science Teacher's Association's interactive e-books for some great content that is free during the pandemic. Audubon Connections  and Community Learning for Maine have some great activities as well.

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