Lesson: The Growling Stomach

Contributed by: Adventure Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

A green plant with big leaves.
An example of a plant that could be found in the Amazon.
copyright
Copyright © Wikimedia Commons http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vivid_greenish_plant_with_big_leaves.JPG

Summary

In this lesson, the students investigate what types of plants and insects they could eat to survive in the Amazon. They research various plants and/or insects and identify characteristics that make them edible or useful for the trip. At the end, students create posters and present their findings to the class.

Engineering Connection

Engineers use critical thinking skills to identify what criteria are important for success and what criteria are not important. Then they make design decisions based on these criteria.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students should be able to:

  • Investigate what types of plants and insects they could eat to survive in the Amazon
  • Research various plants and/or insects and identify characteristics that make them edible or useful 

More Curriculum Like This

The Crash Scene

Students are introduced to the (hypothetical) scenario in which they are a team of EnviroTech engineers returning to the U.S. from a conference in Brasilia, Brazil. When their plane crashes deep in the Amazon forest, they work in groups to overcome various obstacles in their quest to reach help as q...

Elementary Lesson
Go with the Energy Flow

Students learn about energy and nutrient flow in various biosphere climates and environments. They learn about herbivores, carnivores, omnivores, food chains and food webs, seeing the interdependence between producers, consumers and decomposers. This lesson is part of a series of six lessons in whic...

Elementary Lesson
Got Energy? Spinning a Food Web

Students learn about energy flow in food webs, including the roles of the sun, producers, consumers and decomposers in the energy cycle. They model a food web and create diagrams of food webs using their own drawings and/or images from nature or wildlife magazines.

What's Air Got to Do with It?

Students use M&M® candies to create pie graphs that express their understanding of the composition of air. Next, they watch and conduct several simple experiments to develop an understanding of the properties of air (it has mass, it takes up space, it can move, it exerts pressure, it can do work). F...

Educational Standards

Each TeachEngineering lesson or activity is correlated to one or more K-12 science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) educational standards.

All 100,000+ K-12 STEM standards covered in TeachEngineering are collected, maintained and packaged by the Achievement Standards Network (ASN), a project of D2L (www.achievementstandards.org).

In the ASN, standards are hierarchically structured: first by source; e.g., by state; within source by type; e.g., science or mathematics; within type by subtype, then by grade, etc.

  • Identify and collect information about everyday problems that can be solved by technology, and generate ideas and requirements for solving a problem. (Grades 3 - 5) Details... View more aligned curriculum... Do you agree with this alignment?
  • Each plant or animal has different structures or behaviors that serve different functions (Grade 2) Details... View more aligned curriculum... Do you agree with this alignment?
  • All living things share similar characteristics, but they also have differences that can be described and classified (Grade 4) Details... View more aligned curriculum... Do you agree with this alignment?
  • Create and evaluate models of plant and/or animal systems or parts (Grade 5) Details... View more aligned curriculum... Do you agree with this alignment?
Suggest an alignment not listed above

Introduction/Motivation

Read the following part of the storyline with your students:

After you break down the night's camp you decide to walk around and see how your fellow engineers are doing. Everyone is packing away their supplies and getting ready for another adventurous day in the Amazon. You notice that the pilot is lying under a big leaf fast asleep. He is still very weak but is starting to eat more.

"Grrrrr." You hear a low roar coming from your stomach and you realize that it is time for breakfast. You walk over to where a group of Mechanical Engineers- Ken, Daniel, and Cari, are preparing today's breakfast.

"How is the food looking?" you ask.

"I think we will only have enough food left for one more day!" Cari responds looking troubled.

"I guess we will have to find some of food," Ken adds as he hands you a buttered roll and a can of apple juice.

In order to find food, you know that you will have to find plants or animals that are safe to eat, but how will you find them? What kind of plants or animals can you eat in the Amazon?

Lesson Background and Concepts for Teachers

None for this lesson.

Vocabulary/Definitions

food chain: A succession of organisms in an ecological system that depend on each other for food energy by consuming a lower organism in the chain and in turn, is preyed upon by a higher organism.

Associated Activities

Lesson Closure

Ask the students what kinds of foods are found in the Amazon? Are any foods that we eat in our daily lives available in the Amazon? Would they like a diet based on food found in the Amazon? Why or why not?

Assessment

Each student group should complete the associated activity worksheets.

Copyright

© 2013 by Regents of the University of Colorado; original © 2005 Colorado School of Mines

Supporting Program

Adventure Engineering, Colorado School of Mines

Acknowledgements

Adventure Engineering was supported by National Science Foundation grant nos. DUE 9950660 and GK-12 0086457. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the National Science Foundation, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

Last modified: June 15, 2017

Comments