4th and 5th grade

Pond and Lake Projects


When we started working on our group projects we did not know much about water. But when we started to look up information, we started to learn more and more about animal and plant life in ponds and lakes, and about our drinking water. Read about our projects below.

What's in the Water

Did you know that there are many tiny organisms in a single drop of pond water?

There are plenty of insects in the water, too. About half of all insects live in freshwater.Some bugs, such as water beetles, live in water most of their lives. Others, like the caddis fly and mayfly emerge into the air when they are adults. Other interesting insects of a pond are the emperor dragonfly, which is blue if it's a male or green if it's a female, and the pond skater, which has special feet to help it row across the pond.

Many sorts of animals also live in the pond. Turtles may be snappers, softshell, or painted. Watersnakes will hunt fish, frogs, and the insects in a pond. Frogs love the lake and pond water. They mate in the early spring and lay their eggs in the water.

Fish are supremely suited to underwater life, and many kinds are found in ponds and lakes. But the largest group of living things in the water is plants, from weeping willows growing at the water's edge, marsh marigolds and kingcup on the pond edges, and lily pads growing across the pond.







Animals of the Pond

We all know what a pond is, but do you know what lives in the ponds?

Some of the life in a pond is microscopic and others may be large. What each eats depends on its size. At the muddy bottom and under the sides of larger plants are hundreds of thousands of single-celled protozoa. These tiny animals eat smaller protozoan or bacteria. And eating the protozoa are different freshwater worms. The decaying plants provide food for all creatures. Water fleas (cousins of shrimps and crabs) swim about getting plant cells. There are also frogs and tadpodes in the shallow water that eat plant cells.

Now to the bigger animals of the pond. We have learned the life cycle of a frog. First the frog is an egg. After hatching it is a tadpole. Then finally the tadpole grows its legs and turns into a frog. Another pond animal is a duck, which also starts as an egg. It hatches into a duckling covered with down, and finally gets feathers and grows into an adult duck.


Food Chains

A food chain is important to our survival. A food chain shows the movement of energy in an ecosystem. A littler animal at the bottom of the food chain gets eaten by a bigger animal higher on the food chain. For example, moss gets eaten by a Mayfly.

Green plants (producers) start at the bottom of the food chain. What eats the green plants? Plants are eaten by a consumer. An example is that grass gets eaten by rabbits.

The sun starts the food chain for all green plants. Algae is an important plant to the pond because it is a large portion of the pond's plant life. If algae died out, there would not be a great deal of plant life in the pond. Then a few fish would die, which means not as many fish in that species. Then there wouldn't be enough fish to feed that species. Slowly the life would die out leaving no fish to feed the birds at that pond. Lastly, those birds couldn't feed all the bigger birds. So in conclusion, algae and green plants play the most important role in the food chain.






Aquatic Adaptations

Most animals have special adaptations. If it can move, taste, touch, hear, or smell, it has an adaptation. If we did not have adaptations to live in our environment, we would die. Our project has been about the adaptations of insects, mammals, reptiles, fish, and amphibians that live in lakes and ponds.

For example, we learned about frog and turtle adaptations. We learned that frogs have long legs to jump, long tongues to catch flies, and most importantly, they breathe through pores in their skin (as long as it's wet). Turtles have their shell to protect them, and they also have long necks to see above the water. Turtles can also hold their breath under water.

The damselfly lays its eggs under the water. The water boatman carries an air bubble under its wings so it can breathe underwater. The snail's tongue cuts up its food because it doesn't have any teeth. A fish's gills let it breathe under water. All of these animals and others have adapted to their surrounding environments.


From Lake Water to Drinking Water

Pure water is a very rare substance. Water easily dissolves many substances, and many of these are always present in natural water. Fortunately, these are not harmful, in small amounts, to humans. But many disease germs, such as typhoid, cholera, and dysentery live in water.

There are many different kinds of water pollution. One kind is Conventional, made up of conventional pollutants. Another kind is called Non-conventional, and is more dangerous to the environment than conventional pollutants. The solids suspended in polluted water can block the sun's rays.

This is how our water supply becomes ready for us to drink. Most of the water in Avon comes from an aquifer, a big underground lake. It is three miles west of Avon. The water has lots of iron and copper in it before it is filtered. Water goes through a treatment plant before we can drink it. A company comes in and tests our drinking water. Our water is stored in the Avondale Lake water tower, which holds 100,000 gallons, and the Avon water tower, which holds 50,000 gallons of water.


 Avon School Home Page

 Lakes & Ponds Home Page

 Cool Water Facts

 Avondale Lake

 Wildlife Prairie Park Pond

 Our Projects

To Illinois Animals Project

 Animal Habitats  What is a Mammal?
 Eating Categories & The Food Chain  Wildlife Prairie Park Photo Gallery