Mar 082013


This lesson offers an introduction to aquatic invertebrates living in ponds, and a look into how the presence or absence of a top predator – fish – affects the community composition and structure.  This is a lesson teachers can do at KBS if they are interested – just contact Gary Mittlebach.

At the conclusion of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • Display familiarity with techniques used to sample aquatic invertebrates
  • Describe how predators influence prey community composition and structure
  • Identify several major groups of aquatic invertebrates
  • Use microscopes to examine zooplankton

If classes want to come out to the KBS pond laboratory, we would suggest allowing at least a half day to spend on the facilities. This will allow time for

  • an introduction to the history and research done at the pond lab
  • an introduction to the study system and questions
  • brainstorming research questions and hypotheses
  • examining zooplankton under microscopes
  • sampling the ponds for macroinvertebrates and tadpoles
  • identifying and quantifying sampled macroinvertebrates
  • measuring macroinvertebrates for size
  • summarizing the data and offering conclusions, discussion

Activity can be modified for grades 3-12.


Lesson created by GK-12 Fellows Anne Royer and Melissa Kjelvik, 2009