Terrestrial Hi-Lo Hunt

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In this outdoor activity, learners search for the warmest and coolest, windiest and calmest, wettest and driest, and brightest and darkest spots in an area. They also look for differences between the plants and animals that live in the Hi-Lo spots. Learners explore the concepts of microclimates and environmental factors that change from season to season, day to day, and even hour to hour, causing plants and animals to make adjustments for survival.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Learning Time:
45 to 60 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
$10 - $20 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 8 - 18

Resource Types:
Activity, Lesson/Lesson Plan


Materials List (per group of students)

  • clear tape (magic is best)
  • pliers
  • metal coat hangers
  • rulers
  • wire cutters (or precut hangers to 28-cm lengths)
  • plastic soda straws (in halves)
  • paper clips
  • 3" x 5" cards
  • black construction paper
  • light meter tube patterns (page 6 of PDF)
  • light meter scale (page 7 of PDF)
  • Celsius thermometers
  • pencils
  • brown paper towels
  • sets of four Action Cards (page 8 of PDF)
  • copies of "Hi-Lo Meters" Equipment card (page 5 and 6 of PDF)
  • Hi-Lo markers: popsicle or other sticks with 3" x 5" cards attached and labeled
  • sheet of "Light Meter Scales" cutouts (page 7 of PDF)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth Processes
      • Weather and Climate
    • Earth Structure
      • Oceans and Water
      • Atmosphere
  • Life Sciences
    • Diversity of Life
      • Plants
      • Animals
    • Ecology
      • Ecosystems
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Units of Measurement
  • Physical Sciences
    • Heat and Thermodynamics
      • Heat and Temperature
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics
    • Light and Optics
      • Sunlight and Color
  • The Nature of Science
    • The Scientific Process
      • Asking Questions
      • Conducting Investigations
      • Gathering Data
      • Formulating Explanations
      • Communicating Results

Informal Categories

  • Animals
  • Nature and Environment
  • Outdoor Activity
  • Physical Activity


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves teamwork and communication skills
  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, The Regents of the University of California, 1979