The Topic: 
Pond Life

Easier - A pond is a small, quiet, enclosed body of freshwater. Ponds are smaller than lakes.
 
Harder - Ponds are nothing more than depressions in the ground where water collects. They are quiet, shallow bodies of water that allow enough sunlight to reach their bottom. The sunlight supports the growth of rooted plants from shore to shore. Some pond plants grow entirely underwater or have parts that extend above the surface. Leafy plants may float on the surface. Other plants can grow along the pond edge. If left alone, ponds will eventually fill in with dirt and debris until they become solid land. It often takes hundreds of years for a pond to be transformed from a body of clear water into soil.
 
Ponds often support a large variety of animal and plant life. Wind and streams can carry in eggs, seeds, and organisms that develop into various life forms. Pond animals include birds, crayfish, fish, frogs, insects, and turtles. Microscopic organisms also thrive in most ponds.
 
Water temperature of ponds is fairly even from top to bottom and changes with the outside air temperature. There is little wave action in the water body, and the pond bottom is usually mud-covered. The amount of dissolved oxygen in the pond may vary greatly during a day. In cold climates, the entire pond can freeze solid.
 
ExplorA-Pond 
http://www.uen.org/utahlink/pond/
Subtitled the pond ecology web site, here you find information about designing and building a pond, suggestions for studying pond ecology, links to ponds around the world, lots of information and curriculum ideas for teachers, pond projects, a virtual pond, and more.
 
Pond Dipping-Wildlife Ponds at Kids Ark
http://web.ukonline.co.uk/conker/pond-dip/
Explore ponds and the wildlife in them such as frogs, tadpoles, newts, and more.
Related Sites on Pond Dipping:
2) Pond Dipping by Roy Winsby
http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/articles/dipping.html
3) Virtual Pond Dip http://www.diwalk.demon.co.uk/pond/ponmap1.htm
 
Pond Ideas at Aliens Explore Earth
http://www.alienexplorer.com/ecology/topic8.html
This site contains some excellent text articles on ponds.
Other Related Pond Webpages at Aliens Explore Earth:
2) Amphibians http://www.alienexplorer.com/ecology/topic15.html
3) Crustaceans http://www.alienexplorer.com/ecology/topic12.html
4) Fish http://www.alienexplorer.com/ecology/topic14.html
5) Insects http://www.alienexplorer.com/ecology/topic17.html
6) Microscopic Plants and Animals http://www.alienexplorer.com/ecology/topic11.html
7) Molluses http://www.alienexplorer.com/ecology/topic13.html
8) Pond Plants http://www.alienexplorer.com/ecology/topic9.html
9) Snakes and Turtles http://www.alienexplorer.com/ecology/topic16.html
10)Spiders and Mites http://www.alienexplorer.com/ecology/topic28.html
11)Tiny Animals http://www.alienexplorer.com/ecology/topic10.html
12)Worms and Leeches http://www.alienexplorer.com/ecology/topic18.html
 
Robyn's Pond Page 
http://www.gl.umbc.edu/~rrhudy1/pond.htm
This site has lots of information about the setup and maintenance of a 'backyard pond.'
 
After exploring several of the websites below, complete one or more of the following 'Pond Life' activities.
 
Visit a Pond. A pond is a great place to visit. Learn how and what to look for at Explore A Pond. Take notes on all that you see and learn. Also take pictures of life forms found at the pond. Record some sounds of pond life. Put together a presentation that summarizes you pond visit(s). Early Spring is also the time to go on Egg Hunt (Ranger Rick).
 
Ask a Question of a Pond Expert. If you have questions about pond design and construction or the care and feeding of pond fish, ask Chuck. Chuck Rush has many years of experience in pond design and maintenance. First search the archives at Ask Chuck (North Texas Water Garden Society) to see if your question has already been answered. For questions about the science of ponds, go to Ask-A-Geologist (U.S. Geological Survey).
 
Draw a Pond Life Mural. Using a large piece of art paper, create a scene of pond life. This could be a group project with your family, friends, or classmates. Visit several websites like Pond Ideas to learn about different life forms commonly found at ponds. You might make your scene a panorama that shows dawn, midday, evening, and night life.
 
Plan & Build A Backyard Pond. You can find some helpful ideas at (1) Half-Barrel Pond Page, (2) Pete's Pond Page, (3) Building A Pond, (4) The Pond, Join the Frog Force and other sites. You may wish to start on a smaller scale; find ideas for an aquarium pond at Explore A Pond.
 
Complete a WebQuest. Select a webquest and adapt or follow the directions at the webquest site: 
1) Frog Frenzy by K. Littlewood & E. Magee (Grade K-1) http://www.esc20.net/etprojects/formats/webquests/summer99/northside/frogfrenzy/default.html
2) Froggy Facts and Froggy Fun (Grade 3) by S. King http://www.memphis-schools.k12.tn.us/admin/tlapages/Frogs.htm
2) Frogs (5th grade) http://www.nashua-plainfield.k12.ia.us/projects/carol/index.html
 
A Website By Kids For Kids
Study Pond Connections
(Section of 'Carter House Natural Science Museum', a 1996 ThinkQuest Project) 
http://library.thinkquest.org/2899/pond/studypnd.html
Explore the shoreline, the shallows, and further out.
 
More Pond Websites
California Dragonflies & Damselflies
http://www.sonic.net/%7Ebigsnest/Pond/Lists/dragons.html
This is an online identification guide for dragonflies and damselflies complete with pictures and brief descriptions.
Related Websites:
2) Beginner's Guide to Dragonflies http://kaweahoaks.com/html/dragonflies.htm
3) Beginner's Guide to Dragonflies by J. Silsby
http://powell.colgate.edu/wda/Beginners_Guide.htm
4) Damsels and Dragons - the Insect Order Odonata
http://casswww.ucsd.edu/personal/ron/CVNC/odonata/ips_odonata.html
5) Dragonfly Website http://dragonflywebsite.com/
6) World of Odes http://www.iowaodes.com/main/intro.asp
 
Lakes & Ponds Topics 
http://mbgnet.mobot.org/fresh/lakes/index.htm
You can learn the difference between lakes and ponds, what lives in and around them, and how they relate to rivers.
Another Great Lakes and Ponds Website:
2) Lakes and Ponds http://www.twingroves.district96.k12.il.us/Wetlands/LakesPonds/LakesPonds.html
 
Pond: Seasons in Still Water
http://octopus.gma.org/katahdin/pond.html
Here is a brief article about pond life.
 
The Amazing Waterlily Cam!
http://www.h2olily.com/cam.html
Here you can connect to two live cameras pointed at a backyard pond in Portland, Oregon. If one is turned off or its night, you can also listen to sounds and look at stored images.
Related PondCam and Pond Tour Sites:
2) Garden Tour at C&S http://www.pondguy.com/pondtour01.htm
3) Aquatic Garden (Cam) http://www.samnet.net/gunther/
 
Pond Animal Websites
All About Turtles 
http://octopus.gma.org/turtles/index.html
Site includes facts about turtle defenses and crafts, and teaches you how to explore a pond or build one of your own!
Other Turtle Websites:
2) Eastern Painted Turtle http://nature.ednet.ns.ca/nature/turtles/paint.htm
3) Kids' Questions About Turtles http://www.micronet.net/users/~turtles/pondfolder/kidspage/questions.html
4) Nova Scotia Turtles http://nature.ednet.ns.ca/nature/turtles/index.htm
5) Painted Turtle
http://www.redpath-museum.mcgill.ca/Qbp/herps/specpages/paintedturtle.htm
6) Snapping Turtle http://www.nature.ca/notebooks/english/snapper.htm
7) Western Painted Turtle
http://sjliving.com/happyhollow/website/Painted_turtle.html
 
Amphibians at Alien Explorers
http://www.alienexplorer.com/ecology/topic15.html
Here you find information about frogs, salamanders, newts, and toads.
 
Bullfrog 
http://www.torontozoo.com/adoptapond/aoo/bullfrog.html
This brief website contains picture, description, and sound of the bullfrog.
 
Froggy Page 
http://frog.simplenet.com/froggy/
This corner of the net is home to all kinds of virtual frogginess, from the silly to the scientific.
Related Frog Sites:
2) All About Frogs from The Learning Exchange
http://allaboutfrogs.org/ 
3) Freddo Frogís Pond http://www.greenweb.com.au/freddo/index.html
4) Frogs http://www.exploratorium.edu/frogs/
5) Frog Dissection http://curry.edschool.Virginia.EDU/go/frog/menu.html 
6) The Whole Frog Project
http://george.lbl.gov/ITG.hm.pg.docs/Whole.Frog/Whole.Frog.html
 
Life in a Freshwater Pond from Yarra Valley Water Education Site
http://www.yvw.com.au/schools/mp.htm
At this website, you can study the plants and animals found in freshwater and how they effect each other.
 
MNCS Frog Project
http://www.mncs.k12.mn.us/html/projects/Frog/frog.html
Read about this project started by students in Minnesota who found a high number of deformed frogs in a local pond, and set about to find out why.
Related Website:
2) A Thousand Friends of Frogs from Center for Global Environmental Education http://cgee.hamline.edu/frogs/
 
Salamandar and Newts 
http://www.ceismc.gatech.edu/zooary/zoo/amphibians/sal_newt.html
Salamander is the common name for about 320 species of amphibians with tails. They include all the members of the order Urodela, including the newts.
 
Something Froggy 
http://www.fi.edu/fellows/fellow9/jun99/slideshowtest.htm
Here are three slide shows that introduce you to the animals and plants that you can expect to find in Lilypad Pond.
 
Pondsites for Teachers
Energy Flow through Spring Ponds
(Section of 'Carter House Natural Science Museum', a 1996 ThinkQuest Project) 
http://library.thinkquest.org/2899/currics/pondtoc.html
Here is a curriculum plan developed by the Shasta Natural Science Association.
 
Lakes & Ponds
http://nyelabs.kcts.org/teach/guides/9798/97_05.html
Learn about how animals and plants live together in these ecosystems by visiting and studying a local pond or lake. Here are two activities: 'Planaria Fishing' and 'The Name's Pond, James Pond.'
 
Pond Action at from ExplorA-Pond
http://www.uen.org/utahlink/pond/action.html
Here are lots of pond science and pond math lessons and activities plus tons of links to related websites.
 
Pond Water Survey by T. Trimpe from The Science Spot
http://sciencespot.net/Pages/pondsurvey.html
Students identify, describe, and classify organizms living in pond water environments. 
 
Reptiles and Amphibians (Grade 2-3) by M. Seagle and J. Geanangel
http://www.libsci.sc.edu/miller/Reptiles.htm
The overall purpose of this interdisciplinary, thematic unit of study is to help students learn more about the distinct characteristics of reptiles and amphibians, including an emphasis on the metamorphosis and development of amphibians.
 
pond
lilypad
freshwater
frog
turtle
water lilly
dragonfly
terrapin
water
plant
decomposition
emergent plant
water strider
larvae
nymph
mayfly
planaria
submergent plant
damselfly
mud
algae
snail
polliwog
pondweed
water flea
whirligig beetle
water boatman
diving beetle
tadpole
insects
newt
turtle
snake
salamander
beaver
fish
crayfish
swamp
vernal pond
wetlands
bog
aquatic plant
 
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 1/99
Updated, 4/00