Grade Level Content Expectations addressed: Activities: Schedule of Field Trip Activities at the Detroit Zoo 8:15 am Board Bus at School

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1 Title: Comparing and Contrasting Ecosystem Biodiversity Submitted by: Tracy Ortiz School: Coffey K-8 Educational Learning Community Date: May 12, 2010 Target Grade: 6 Duration: 5 class periods, 55 minutes each Unit Overview: Prior to attending the trip, the students will be engaged in lessons that will encompass interactions of organisms in an ecosystem, and the levels of organization within that ecosystem. Students will have an understanding that all life is interconnected through the examination of food chains and the relationships between animals. Animal adaptations and behaviors of predators and prey, as well as what happens when links are broken in a food chain will also be addressed. The issue of animal habitat conservation will also be explored. Student Learning Objectives: 1. Compare and contrast populations, communities, and ecosystems. 2. Explain how adaptations help organisms to survive in predator/prey relationships. 3. Describe the major kinds of interactions among organism in an ecosystem (competition, parasitism, symbiosis, predator/prey). Grade Level Content Expectations addressed: L.EC Describe common patterns of relationships among populations (competition, parasitism, symbiosis, predator/prey). L.EC Explain how two populations of organisms can be mutually beneficial and how that can lead to interdependency. L.EC Predict how changes in one population might affect other populations based upon their relationships in the food web. Activities: Schedule of Field Trip Activities at the Detroit Zoo 8:15 am Board Bus at School 9:00-10:00 am Students will explore natural habitats of wetlands, arctic tundra, and African savannah by completing a scavenger hunt (to be attached). 10:30-11:30 am Students will attend a biodiversity class in the Ford Education Center that will describe the threats to native animal species survival in their natural habitats. 11:30-12:00 Lunch 12:00-1:00 pm Students will complete the biodiversity scavenger hunt provided by the Detroit Zoo, and examine habitats on Earth represented at the zoo that are full of biodiversity and discuss the reasons species are threatened, endangered or have already become extinct. Students will compare and contrast two ecosystems of

2 their choice. 1:00-1:30 pm Meet with Zoo Conservation Biologist to discuss the role of zoos in conserving and preserving threatened plants and animals and their habitats around the world. 2:00 pm Depart zoo and return to school. Student Assessment: Following the trip students will create a brochure that will describe one ecosystem and the importance of conserving plant and animal habitat using the information gained in class and through the Detroit Zoo field trip experience. (see attached rubric)

3 Ecosystem Brochure Rubric (16 points possible) Directions Create a brochure that will describe ecosystems and the importance of conserving plant and animal habitat using the information gained in class and through the Detroit Zoo field trip experience. Pick one ecosystem that you encounter on your trip to the Detroit Zoo. Describe the ecosystem. Highlight one animal that lives in the ecosystem and describe the requirements needed for it to survive. What would happen if one animal from your animal s food chain disappeared? Is your animal or its habitat threatened? What steps can be made in the conservation of this particular species? CATEGORY Writing - Organization Each section in the brochure has a clear beginning, middle, and end. Almost all sections of the brochure have a clear beginning, middle and end. Most sections of the brochure have a clear beginning, middle and end. Less than half of the sections of the brochure have a clear beginning, middle and end. Student Score Content - Accuracy All facts in the brochure are accurate. All required information is included % of the facts in the brochure are accurate. 90% of required information is included % of the facts in the brochure are accurate and required information is included. Fewer than 80% of the facts in the brochure are accurate. Less than 80% of required information is included. Graphics/Pictures Illustrations go well with the text and there is a good mix of text and illustrations. Illustrations go well with the text, but there are so many that they distract from the text. Illustrations go well with the text, but there are too few and the brochure seems "text-heavy". Illustrations do not go with the accompanying text or appear to be randomly chosen. Attractiveness & Organization The brochure has exceptionally attractive formatting and well-organized information. The brochure has attractive formatting and well-organized information. The brochure has well-organized information. The brochure's formatting and organization of material are confusing to the reader. Name: Date:

4 Welcome to the Detroit Zoo! This tour will take you to the ends of the Earth to visit some animals that inhabit the polar regions. You will also visit some animals that make their homes in tropical habitats. Work together to answer questions at the exhibits listed below. Penguinarium Wildlife Interpretive Gallery Butterfly Garden Aviary Arctic Ring of Life Grizzly bears Black bears Be sure to enjoy all the other animals not included on this scavenger hunt! Group members: Wildlife Interpretive Gallery Butterfly Garden The majority of the butterflies found in our butterfly garden are native to tropical regions of Central and South America. They begin life on special Butterfly Ranches. Female butterflies lay their eggs only on the types of plants that their caterpillars will eat. These special host plants are grown on Butterfly Ranches to attract the females to lay their eggs. Caterpillars are eating machines! They munch on plants continuously until they develop into a chrysalis (cocoon). After dramatic internal changes, a butterfly will emerge from its chrysalis. As you walk into our Butterfly Garden, you will see a large display case of animals that have arrived recently from the Butterfly Ranch. At what stage in a butterfly s lifecycle does the animal arrive at the zoo? Circle one: Egg Caterpillar Chrysalis Butterfly

5 Penguinarium: Over sixty birds have a home at our unique Penguinarium. Watch the birds for a few minutes. Which are of the following behaviors can you observe? Check off the behaviors that you see. Bird holding their wings out (this helps them get rid of heat when they are hot). Bird preening (cleaning) its feathers with its beak (this helps to keep the feathers in good condition to keep the bird warm and to streamline its body when swimming). Swimming (Notice that the birds fly underwater they use the same wing movements to swim that most birds use to fly in the sky.) Porpoising (Porpoising is the term used to describe the behavior when a bird jumps out of the water to catch a breath of air when swimming at high speeds.) Nesting (Our rockhopper and macaroni penguins make nests out of rocks. During nesting season the birds gather rocks, arrange rocks, rearrange rocks, and steal each other s rocks. Male birds will even give rocks to female birds as a courtship behavior.) How many different species of penguins are there? Find the map. Do all penguins live at the South Pole? It s important for the zookeepers to be able to tell each bird apart. How do you think that the zookeepers are able to do this? (Hint: Look closely at the birds wings and feet.)

6 Aviary The Aviary is home to nearly thirty different species or kinds of birds many from tropical rainforests. How many different kinds of birds can you count? Birds have beaks that are adapted for the type of food that they eat. Name a bird below and then tell what type of food you think they might eat. Bird ID Type of food eaten In a rainforest, animals make their homes at various layers. Find a bird located at each level of our aviary rainforest: The forest floor The vegetation (middle) layer The emergent (top) layer How many different kinds of birds do you think there are? a) 500 b) 700 c) 5000 d) 8,600 What special characteristic makes birds unique in the animal kingdom? a) lay eggs b) warm-blooded c) feathers d) scales on their legs How can you help birds in your neighborhood? a) provide a bird bath or fresh source of water

7 b) put up a bird house c) keep cats indoors Arctic Ring of Life The Arctic is home to some wonderful animals and people. Any living creature plant or animal that lives in this harsh and frigid environment must have special adaptations to survive. Read the graphic signs to help you answer the following questions. Arctic fox: Why do the animals change color at different times of the year? Why does an arctic fox have scent glands on the bottom of its feet? Polar Bears: List two adaptations that polar bears have to make life easier in their arctic home. Use the signs to help you

8 Seals: Notice that the seals often swim upside-down. This enables them to watch what is going on below them. Notice also that the animals often swim with their eyes closed. Look at the seals hands. How are they adapted to help these animals swim? Rescue Bears: Several of the Detroit Zoo s bears have been rescued from some unfortunate circumstances. Read the Rescue Stories at the exhibits. What is the story of Hamms the bear? Where did Polly the bear come from?

9 Scavenger Hunt Answers Penguinarium: How many different species of penguins are there? 17 different species of penguins. Find the map. Do all penguins live at the South Pole? All penguins live in the southern hemisphere not all penguins live at the South Pole (some actually live near the equator in cold ocean currents). It s important for the zookeepers to be able to tell each bird apart. How do you think that the zookeepers are able to do this? (Hint: Look closely at the birds wings and feet.) Each penguin has an identification number, either on their wing or on their foot. Wildlife Interpretive Gallery Butterfly Garden At what stage in a butterfly s lifecycle does the animal arrive at the zoo? Circle one: Egg Caterpillar Chrysalis Butterfly Aviary The Aviary is home to nearly thirty different species or kinds of birds many from tropical rainforests. How many different kinds of birds can you count? Birds have beaks that are adapted for the type of food that they eat. Name a bird below and then tell what type of food you think they might eat. Bird ID Type of food eaten

10 Several possible answers some more commonly picked birds Parrot strong beak to crack open nuts; sharp point to tear into fruit Duck flat beak to clip vegetation Plover pointed beak to pick off aquatic treats Boat-billed hereon catching fish from water Could be many others! In a rainforest, animals make their homes at various layers. Find a bird located at each level of our aviary rainforest: The forest floor duck, plover, bittern The vegetation (middle) layer most birds heron The emergent (top) layer many possibilities

11 How many different kinds of birds do you think there are? a) 500 b) 700 c) 5000 d) 8,600 What special characteristic makes birds unique in the animal kingdom? a) lay eggs b) warm-blooded c) feathers d) scales on their legs How can you help birds in your neighborhood? a) provide a bird bath or fresh source of water b) put up a bird house c) keep cats indoors (all of the above!) Arctic Ring of Life Arctic fox: Why do the animals change color at different times of the year? White to blend in with snow Brown/grey to blend in with tundra Why does an arctic fox have scent glands on the bottom of its feet? Leaves its scent when walking helps the arctic foxes keep track of each other. Polar Bears: List two adaptations that polar bears have for their arctic home. Use the signs to help you. Warm fur; black skin; large feet for swimming and for walking on snow and ice; good sense of smell to find food; claws to prevent slipping on ice; Seals: Notice that the seals often swim upside-down. This enables them to watch what is going on below them. Notice also that the animals often swim with their eyes closed. Look at the seals hands. How are they adapted to help these animals swim? Skin between the fingers and the toes works like flippers--- webbed feet. Bear Rescue Where did Hamms the bear come from? Originally he was in commercials.then he was sold to a farmer and lived in a small cage for 20 years. Where did Polly come from? A circus

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