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4 - Life in the garden. What do animals eat?
Saturday 7 April 2018
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To motivate the learning of the transversal and key competences of pupils and students with difficulties by involving them in a scientific project on the life of animals in the garden through an approach apt to enhance their abilities.

This way of approaching the problem has been experimented by the European teachers in a peer-to-peer training mobility within the framework of the project in Funchal from 20 to 24 February 2018 It has also been exploited with high school students.

- Communication in the mother tongue
- Scientific and mathematical competences
- Learning to learn
- Social competences and citizenship

- To describe, express and understand by using the scientific language with the support of drawings and schemes or/and of direct experimentation; to communicate results and achievements
- To develop scientific activities: to look for and organize information, represent them, identify relationships between causes and effects, build up hypotheses , select applicable elements according to the learning context, interpret the related outcomes to validate the initial hypothesis.
- To work out some personal tools and strategies in order to understand and learn.
- To communicate and uphold an opinion, debate and justify your choices.

GARDENS EXPLORED Parks and gardens of Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France, and of other places where badgers live.

1st section: Life in the garden. What does a badger eat according to the season?
- Video on Youtube ’What does the badger eat?’
- The pedagogical card ’What does the badger eat according to the season?’

2nd section: Life in the garden. What does an owlet eat?
- Pellets
- Toilet bowls
- Narrow-pointed pliers
- Drawing paper
- Key of determination of the bones inside the pellets (student’s handbook)
- Photo of the content of a classified pellet (student’s handbook)

Section 1.: Life in the garden. What do animal eat according to the season?
To view the short video on the badger. Afterwards, to present le pedagogical card after asking the students to repeat their questions. Thanks to the analysis of its dumplings, they have drawn diagrams of the food eaten independently from the season:
- 1.Make a list of the food eaten on the basis of the three diagrams independently from the season.

- 2.Divide the food of the list into two groups: 1) animal derived food 2) plant derived food. What is the alimentary regimen of the badger? Give reason for your answer

- 3.Colour the three diagrams below: green for the green food – red for the food of animal origin

- 4.Calculate the percentage of the green and the animal origin food according to the season. Insert the results in the tables below:
Spring, Summer, Autumn

- 5. Use histograms (bar diagrams) to represent the food consumed. Trace two perpendicular graduated axes. Put:
- in abscissa (horizontal axe) the three seasons (four tiles=1saison)
- in ordinate (vertical axe) the percentage of food (one tile=10%). You get three columns having the same width and different height depending on the quantity of food. Divide each column into two parts and use the colour to differentiate the food origin: in each column hatch in green the quantity of green food and in red the one of animal origin

- 6.Explain the differences between the quantity of the food consumed by the badger in summer and autumn

Section 2.Life in the garden. What does the owlet eat?
Present the student fiche below after asking the students to repeat the questions to make sure they have understood:

1.Experimentation on direct observation. Break down an owlet’s pellet >describe the pellet: shape, colour, size.. >make a list of the pellet components. Detach the bones, clean and classify them (skull, jaw, ribs, etc….)

2.Observation on documentation (photos). Analyse the content of a pellet
- on the basis of the content of the pellet photographed, tell the number of preys eaten and give reason for your answers
- with the help of the determination key supplied, identify the names of the animals eaten

3.Read and create a table. The table below sums up the diet regimen of the owlet. Cfr table. Represent it in the form of a bar diagram.

It takes into account the ability to:

Communicate in the mother tongue
- use a scientific language, communicate stages, results, both orally and in writing
- hypothesize, justify and validate

Pursue a scientific pathway
- Develop representation skills, read and draw bar diagrams, tables, grids; present results with accuracy, show them graphically
- Identify cause-effect relationships, choose a hypothesis, interpret data from calculation or observation to validate the hypothesis
- Break down an owlet’s pellet
- Use a determination key for the bones in the pellet
- build up knowledge.
Be aware that the diet regimen of animals may change within a species: the badger’s one is an example of seasonal variation;
Be aware that you can infer the diet regimen of a badger by

Learning to learn
- Make use of sketches and grids to explain and understand
- Research, organize and present information
- Transfer to other situations the methodology practised (dissection, use of determination keys, tools for the representation of the results – bar diagrams – concepts like the diet variation…)

Social and civic competences
- Communicate and uphold opinions
- Debate, talk and learn to listen

Jean-Michel Josse, training teacher in Sciences of Life and Earth, Association Paysage et Patrimoine sans frontière, Saint-Germain-en-Laye. Teacher of Sciences of Life and Earth, French High School Alexandre Dumas, Moscow, Russia

Mary Gino
Association Acquamarina, Trieste, Italie

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