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Biodiversity Teacher Resources
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Students read through the lyrics and listen to a song about biodiversity. Using pictures they draw, they interpret the song according to their prior knowledge. They identify the threats to different regions around the world and create a collage to show one of the threats.
Students compare maps depicting the past and present range of tall grass prairie in Arkansas. They research to discover what has happened to the prairie, why it is unique, how it contributes to the biodiversity of Arkansas, and why efforts are being made to preserve what remains.
Here is a thorough, and engaging series of lessons on the ocean. Learners investigate early and modern tools of exploration, surface and sub-surface features of the ocean, the composition of ocean water and its role in the water cycle, the formation of waves and ocean currents, and marine life. This fantastic series of plans should lead to a greater understanding and appreciation for the ocean for your charges.
The video clip that comprises the warm up is not available, but the related article from The New York Times and the movie trailer for Aliens of the Deep are, leaving enough material to make this a fascinating lesson on deep-sea exploration. After reading about James Cameron's Challenger Deep submersible, your young scientists write a screenplay about the geology, chemistry, or biodiversity of the deepest parts of the ocean.
Bring up the Deepwater Horizon (BP) oil spill that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. Display the colorful diagram of the coastal and marine organisms living in the area. Show a video about relocating the eggs of the Gulf's sea turtles. Have your class read an article about the affected sea birds. After gathering information from each of these sources, learners participate in a classroom discussion to prepare themselves to write an essay about the ethics of helping these animals. Terrific resources are included to make this a memorable lesson for your environmental scientists!
Ever heard of a bioblitz? Your ecologists watch a short video to find out about this interesting idea. It's a community event that helps scientists identify and inventory the various species living in an area. After introducing learners to the activity, take them outdoors to participate in their own bioblitz! The class works together to create a large map of the area inventoried and a class set of species cards. Links to the video, MapMaker, identification card templates, and informational websites are included along with a thoroughly written lesson plan.
In a comprehensive project, teen ecologists read case studies to learn about successful conservation programs, then work together to research an ecosystem. The project culminates with either an in-class presentation about a conservation proposal or a formal project wherein groups create an actual conservation program; it is an excellent idea for service learning, senior projects, or science club! If groups are completing the extension, the duration of the project will be longer than the recommended time.
You will get much mileage out of this resource. It is three presentations in one! Standard general ecology information is included within these 69 slides. The first segment deals with levels of organization, biotic and abiotic factors, biomes, biodiversity, and the flow of energy. The second section focuses on nutrient cycles. The final installation examines population dynamics with an emphasis on problems accompanying overpopulation. The font may be considered "cute." This is easily altered if this is not to your liking. Otherwise, this is a terrific resource!
Second graders investigate the diversity of plants and animals in a rainforest. They watch an online story developed by the Rainforest Alliance, observe and record animals in their local area, explore various websites, and compare and contrast a chart that illustrates the diversity of their local area and a rainforest.
Explore the amazing temperate rainforest of the Pacific Northwest. Your class starts by investigating the animals and plants of the Northwest, specifically Washington, and then they research an animal population common to the area. In small groups, they create informative presentations that address research topics as well as to provide suggestions on how to conserve the region.
Ninth graders debate the positive aspects of dam construction. They discuss how a dam changes the ecosystem. In groups, 9th graders research and gather information for a debate. They state their position and write a report supporting it. After the debate, the "town" votes on whether the dam should be constructed. They consider strategies for reducing the negative aspects of the dam.
What is all the fuss about genetically modified foods? PBS provides this resource designed to supplement the documentary Food, Inc. to help learners investigate the benefits and controversies of genetically modified foods for individuals and companies. The instructional activity culminates with each pupil taking a position and writing a paper either for or against genetically modified seeds.
After a basic introduction to the rock cycle and the three main types of rocks, young geologists can deepen their understanding of how rocks change through a fun learning game. Based on the characteristics and events shared by a reader, other learners must guess what type of change a rock will undergo. After completing the game, the rock cycle is recreated on paper, then the class discusses some thought-provoking questions about the geologic timescale and why certain types of rocks are found where they are. The game board and cards are available in English, Spanish, and Chinese.
The Northwoods of Wisconsin are lovely in the summer,and they are also home to many flower and butterfly species. Investigate the ways in which seasonal flowers and butterflies are interdependent on each other for survival with a fun activity. The class will view and discuss various butterflies and blooms from the region and then construct a wheel that shows which butterflies are attracted to which flowers and why.