Investigate a Rotting Log

Other Notes (supplies needed, tips on using the resource, or directions for accessing the resource at the above link, etc.)

Read the background information in the first link above. Then go to the link for the activity.

  • You will need Adobe Reader to open the PDF file.
  • Under "Prep Step," click on the link that says "Photocopy the two observation sheets" and a new window will open. Click on both of the links on that page and they will open in PDF files. Print both PDF files.
  • Under "Recast Activity B," click on the links "What is Cyclic Causality" and "Cyclic Journey of an Atom."

Print all these sheets and have them available for the activity.

In the center of the lesson plan page is a yellow box with cautionary information about centipedes and spiders. Read this before you go into the woods.

Print this page using the "print" button in your browser. Find a wooded area that has rotting logs. Follow the directions in Steps 4a, 5a, 6a, and 7a. Skip to Step 8. Follow the directions in paragraph 9.  Finish by following the directions in paragraph 10. 

You will need the following supplies:

  • Rotten log and pieces of a rotten log
  • Soil with bits of decaying material
  • Magnifying glass
  • Metal spoons or small garden tools
  • Gloves
  • Field guide  
Grade Levels: 5th Grade
Resource Type: Activity
Instructional Method: Traditional