Animal Species Richness in Tioga County, PA
Goals for the Lesson
- Students will gain an appreciation for their local biodiversity.
- Students will relate the habitat to the types of species found.
- Students will be able to identify at least 50 animal species that are indigenous to Tioga County.
- one computer with spreadsheet capabilities
State Standards Addressed: E &E Standards: Threatened, Endangered, and Extinct Species (4.7.10 A, B)
Teaching Model: Experiential Teaching Model
Subjects Covered: biology, ecology
Topics: species richness, biodiversity, habitat, ecosystems
Students will first read selected background material in environmental science textbook and also the booklet Forest Stewardship: Understanding and Conserving Biological Wealth in Our Forests. The goal is to compile an extensive list of animal species seen throughout Tioga County by the students over the course of a semester.
Doing the Activity
- Students will report daily any animal species seen during the course of their travels and adventures outdoors.
- The students must reports the date, time, location, and specie's name to a student recorder at the beginning of each class period.
- The species list will be cumulative throughout the semester.
- All the data will be compiled and stored on a spreadsheet on a computer.
- The students will be required to learn the name of at least 50 of the animals compiled and name them for an exam.
- The students will also pick one animal and write a short report (one to two pages) on its natural history, distribution, and habitat requirements. This report will then be given orally to the class to be followed by discussion.
- Any student that does not contribute to the species database will lose a percentage of the total points on their short report.
This lesson should provide an extensive list from rural students in Tioga County. I would be very interested in seeing a list from an urban school. Population for comparison purposes. Species checklist are available from both the PA Fish & Boat Commission and PA Game Commission .
Dubay, D. (1999). Environmental Science . New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.
O'Donnel E., and C. Pickens-Schwetzer (2002). Forest Stewardship: Understanding and Conserving Biological Wealth in Our Forests. University Park, Pa.: The Pennsylvania State University.
Jere White, Liberty Junior Senior High School