Family Science Learning Overview

In this activity, your family will take a walk and observe specific types of relationships, like animal-animal relationships, plant-to-plant relationships, and human-plant relationships.

Once you’ve observed and identified relationship types, you will select one (or more!) and create an initial model of your thinking about the relationship(s) you chose.


This is a two-part activity.

  • Part 1: Go on a neighborhood walk, and see how many different types of relationships you can observe. Then you can use the table on page 2 of the activity sheet to document the details. Remember that you can create your own tables on blank sheets of paper or in a journal.
    •  NOTE: If you have gone on other walks, like those described in LEs 1.A, 2.B, 3.A, 3.B, and 4.B, for example, you can use observations from those walks too!
  • Part 2: Pick several relationships you observed and create an initial model of those relationships and their possible interactions.
  • Extension activity ideas are included on pages 5 and 6 of the activity sheet.

What Can You Do To Support Learning?

  • If family members need help thinking about different types of relationships, you might prompt them to look for a few of the relationship types mentioned in the chart on pages 1-3 of the activity sheet. Once you identify some relationship types, your family can ask questions like:
    • How do you think that plant-plant (or animal-plant, human-animal, etc.) are connected? What do you think is happening in these relationships?
    • Why do you think these relationships are important and for whom?  Do you think these relationships change when the seasons change? If so, how? Why?
  • The initial model that your family constructs in Part 2 of this activity is a way of explaining the relationship(s) you observed. It will show how your family thinks the things involved in the relationship are connected and why. If family members need help with modeling, you can ask them to start by drawing who and what is involved in the relationships. Then you can prompt them to start to show how they are connected, and ask them to think about why they are connected in those ways.

Activity Sheets

Connecting with Other Families

Share your observations about relationships and initial models with other family members and friends. Agree to take another “relationships walk” to see if you find other types of relationships (maybe this will inspire you to add to your initial models and/or revise them!). Then reconnect with family and friends to keep sharing.

Connect to Other Activities

Learning in Places Frameworks to Consider

  • Relationships in Socio-Ecological Systems
  • Modeling Socio-Ecological Phenomena
Family Storyline Example LE 6.A, taking a neighborhood walk to observe relationships
Family Storyline Example LE 6.B