Pond Ecology Program Outline

Welcome and Introduction

1. Behavioral Guidelines for visit:

  • We are in the animals' neighborhood
  • Stay on trails with your group unless taken off trails with class activity
  • Leave flowers and plants for animals (don't pick anything)
  • Pick up trail treasures to enjoy on-site, but no collecting-leave everything

2. Introduction to Pond Ecology

Definition of Pond Ecology

Pond development at the Ogden Nature Center

Where to look for different kinds of animals and plants

  • Edge-turtles, snakes, birds, mammals
  • Surface-dragonflies, damselflies, water striders
  • Below surface-fish, snails, frogs, tadpoles
  • Mud-leeches, planaria, dragonfly nymphs 

3.  Metamorphosis

  • Some animals don't change much as they mature (mammals, reptiles, birds)
  • Insects and amphibians change a lot as they mature-called metamorphosis 


1.  Build a Bug

We "change" a student into an insect to demonstrate:  no bones, exoskeleton instead, 3 body parts, 6 legs, antennae, adaptations for an aquatic insect (gills, breathing tubes, paddle-like legs, etc.) 

2.  Pond Observations

Students use dip nets to catch and release aquatic animals 

3.  Classroom Explorations

  • Microscopes to observe animals
  • Pond table observations
  • Write and draw in "Pond Books" 

Topics are covered by varying degrees depending upon the maturity of students and time constraints.