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In the Western Forests there lives a beetle, a mountain pine beetle. Explore the ways in which a once manageable beetle population has grown to unmanageable numbers because of climate change in forest regions. After examining case study documents and a video, the class engages in a discussion on the potential versus actual impact of climate change on forest beetle population. Several great web links and extension activities are suggested to add to or augment the learning experience.
Students describe a forest as a living community. They determine members interact, and in many cases, depend on each other for their basic survival needs. They investigate how dependent the Native Americans were on the forest community for survival and that even today we too are dependent on plants for survival.
Students become familiar with the temperate rainforest. In this forest ecosystem instructional activity, students identify the producers, consumers and decomposers in the forest ecosystem. Students sort cards and identify the trophic level of the rainforest. Students view and discuss various artifacts of the rainforest.
A maritime forest is a forest near the sea. Learners examine a set of animals to see if the maritime forest habitat would meet all of their survival needs. The teacher first describes what types of things can be provided by a maritime forest, then she hands out fact sheets about various animals for learners to read. As each child reads the information, the class decides which animal is best suited for life in a maritime forest. Animal cut-outs are taped on the wall to create a maritime forest mural.
How many rainforests are on our planet? Start this lesson by defining the word characteristic and reading a story about rain forests. (There is no book recommendation included, but A Rainforest Habitat by Molly Aloian and Bobby Kalman might be a good place to start.) Then, distribute the fact sheet (questions are included, but no document is attached), and have learners use the Internet and other sources to find the answers.
Students investigate claims of medicinal plants found in the rain forest. In this research skills instructional activity, students examine the validity of Internet sources as they visit websites in search of information about rain forest plants that are used or could be used in medicines. Students share their findings as well as the strategies they employed to determine whether the information presented was authoritative.
Few people get to visit Alaska's Glacier Bay, and fewer yet go underwater to explore its kelp forest. Through this presentation, viewers get to do just that! In the process, they learn about the simple structure of kelp and the diverse ecosystem supported by these brown algae. This is a National Park production that can advantageously be used in your class when studying ecosystems, marine biology, or kelp forests.
Students explain why rain forests have great biodiversity, and list each layer of a rain forest and tell an organism that lives in each. They identify the cause of acid rain and its affect on a rain forest. Students hypothesize the effects of water and sulfuric acid on a leaf and identify the steps of the scientific method.
In this forester worksheet, students illustrate a map that shows the types of forests growing in various parts of the country. They also identify six forest trees common to the area where they live and explain how both wildlife and humans use them. Finally, students draw their own urban forestry plan for adding trees to a street, yard, or park near their home.
Students work as a group to determine a management plan for an imaginary forest. In this forestry instructional activity, students discuss timber management techniques and develop a list of pros and cons for the techniques. They develop a management plan for an imaginary forest based on the discussion.
Young scholars explore nature by participating in a poetry writing activity. In this forest investigation lesson, students identify images and feelings they experienced while they were in a forest on a class trip. Young scholars identify poetry forms and write both Haiku and Cinquain poems based on natural elements.