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Biodiversity Teacher Resources
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Middle schoolers participate in an interactive lesson using the scientific method to study biodiversity. For this insect monitoring lesson, students simulate the layers of soil and the insects that would live there. Middle schoolers design parameters to collect insects and a research timeframe. Students create a graph of the species found.
For this relationships and biodiversity worksheet, students investigate the relationships between 4 plants sample using 7 different tests. These include looking at structural characteristics of the plants, seeds and stems, using paper chromatography to compare extracts of each, using an indicator to check for the presence of an enzyme, using gel electrophoresis to compare the DNA and translating the DNA code to compare proteins.
Use a striking world map to display where species-rich biological hot spots are located. Introduce ecology learners to biodiversity and the reasons why hot spot organisms are threatened or endangered. Emphasize the importance of these special biomes and encourage conservation efforts. If you do not mind that the majority of the slides depict the same map repeatedly, the information contained is pertinent to the study of ecology.
Middle schoolers examine the consequences of cutting down large amounts of forests throughout the world. In groups, they use the internet to complete a module taking them on a tour through different temperate forests. To end the lesson, they research the problems animals face after their homelands are cut down.
Students practice skills essential to all scientific investigation: carefully observing and collecting data. They become field biologists in a series of hands-on activities to collect and identify specimens, and survey and calculate the diversity of plant species in their local environment.
Students are introduced to biodiversiy. They use a simulation of two forests, one planted with only Douglas Fir trees, and one with diverse species of trees. Students also use the simulation of two forests, one a monoculture of only one kind of tree and the other a diverse forest, and how a disease affects the two forests differently.
Students investigate the diversity of temperate forests and tropical rainforests. They catch and observe local insects, sort leaves and insects on a chart, listen to the book "A Walk in the Rainforest," and create a class bar graph that illustrates the diversity of trees and insects between their local forest and a tropical rainforest.