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Whole Cloth: Biodiversity

Keywords: habitat, environment, natural resources, sustainable resources, diversity, interdependence; Lesson Plan Grade Level: seventh through ninth grade; Total Time Required for Lesson: 45 minutes; Setting: classroom

Goals for the Lesson

  • Students will discover diverse habitat needs of plants and animals.
  • Students will recognize interdependence of all things in our world.
  • Students will reflect upon the human role of past and present uses and management of our world's resources and consider possible directions for the future.

Materials Needed

  • definitions of keywords
  •  Biodiversity booklet
  • list of animals
  • pictures of habitats (mountains, swamp, meadow, stream, clearcut, etc.)
  • ball of yarn

State Standards Addressed: E & E Standards: Environmental Health (4.3); Ecosystems and Their Interactions (4.6); Humans and the Environment (4.8).

Subjects Covered: biology, language arts, social studies 

Topics: geography, biodiversity, horticulture, formulating and writing conclusions

Preparation

Label and number habitat pictures on classroom walls. Students will read and understand definitions.

Lesson

(15 minutes)

  • Class discussion of the attributes of each habitat.
  • Discuss
    • Which of these habitats is most important to maintain?
    • Which of these habitats is most beneficial to our world?
    • What value do these habitats have?

Plant/Animal List (5 minutes)

  • Each student will receive a list of plants and animals that are to be placed in the proper habitat.
  • The class will do the first one together with the teacher.
  • Each student will then individually proceed to place the rest of their list in the correct habitat.

Discussion (5 minutes)

  • Interdependence of the animals, plants, and habitats
  • Humans actions affecting habitats (past ideas--species introduced into habitats by humans)

Activity (5 minutes)

  • Students will stand in a circle.
  • One student will hold the end of a ball of yarn while tossing it to another student in the circle.
  • Each student will hold a section of the yarn while tossing it to another student.
  • Repeat this process until each student is holding a section of the yarn and the circle is crisscrossed randomly with yarn.
  • The yarn will go continuously across and around the circle.
  • Have one student release his section of yarn.
  • Result: All of the remaining students must adjust to tighten the strands of yarn.
  • Repeat with second student.
  • Point out that this is similar to the interdependence of plants and animals and their habitats.
  • Each component affects the other components.

Read Biodiversity Booklet (15 minutes)

Assignment

  • Students will choose a habitat.
  • They must remove one component and then write down all of the consequences that result from the removal of the component.

Reference

Kim, Ke Chung (2001). Biodiversity: Our Living World--Your Life Depends on It! University Park, Pa.: The Pennsylvania State University.

Author

Stephanie L. Rau, substitute teacher, Mercer & Slippery Rock School Districts