Learning expeditions

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1 Learning expeditions diversity and interdependence What tips the scale in nature s balance? Introduction: On this Expedition, your students will explore the question, What tips the scale in nature s balance? by describing groups of organisms and defining different symbiotic relationships between them. Students will look for evidence of those relationships at the Museum and around their school/home, and provide descriptions and options for change. Science & Soc. Studies Grade Level: 6-8 Summary: Pre-Visit Activities: 1. Complete the Project Wild activity, Good Buddies to gain a better understanding of vocabulary related to interdependence 2. Small groups create posters of different groups of living things to illustrate diversity 3. The class brainstorms basic needs of all living things, and how they are connected to one another, using webs; discussion question: If organisms need the same things, how do they co-exist? Museum Visit Activities: 1. At an animal exhibit, students make observations about relationships (plant-plant, plant-animal, animal-surroundings, etc.) 2. At the Interpretive Fire Trail students explore the implications of different human interactions with an ecosystem 3. Students illustrate one example of each of the following relationships that they see at the Museum: commensalism, mutualism, parasitism Oregon State Standards & Benchmarks: Life Science: Identify and describe the factors that influence or change the balance of populations in their environment Geography: Understand how human modification of the physical environment in a place affects both that place and other places Post Visit Activities: 1. Discuss what students gained from their Museum visit which helps them answer the question, If organisms need the same things, how do they co-exist? 2. Look at school or home surroundings for evidence of other organisms being negatively affected by human presence; describe the situation and present a solution 3. Students identify an organism that is currently being affected by human interaction with the environment; create a public service announcement to create awareness vocabulary: symbiosis, commensalism, mutualism, parasitism, ecosystem, habitat, organism, basic needs, diversity, interdependence

2 Pre-visit activities good buddies Complete the Project Wild activity, Good Buddies (Contact the Museum if you don t have access to the curriculum). In this lesson, students will: define symbiosis, commensalism, mutualism and parasitism identify animals that live in each type of symbiotic relationship explain that symbiotic relationships are examples of the intricate web of interdependence within which all plants and animals live diversity posters Small groups of students create posters of different groups of living things. Assign different groups, such as plants, invertebrates, fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, etc. Post, compare and discuss the groups to illustrate a wide diversity of organisms. discussion of basic needs The class brainstorms basic needs of all living things (this may differ for some, such as plant vs. animal), and how they are connected to one another, using webs. Ultimately, discuss the question: If organisms need the same things, how do they co-exist? Perhaps have students write a journal entry with their thoughts on that question, which can be revisited after your field trip. Preparing for your museum visit Getting ready for the activity: One of the activities your students will complete at the Museum requires them to observe an assigned area in detail. You should assign these areas to students prior to your visit. Have them write their assigned area in the blank space on the first Student Page. Suggested locations (see photos on next page): Desertarium (several areas, such as Snakes, Lizards, Fish/Amphibians, Desert Tortoise habitat) Outdoor exhibits (six habitats at Birds of Prey Center, Otter Exhibit, Wildlife Observation Station, Pond and Stream) Students: As the day of your Museum visit approaches, focus your students thoughts on what they might experience a the Museum and how that fits in with what they are studying. Preparation should not be entirely academic, however; clarify students expectations about things such as bathrooms, lunch plans, who they will spend the day with, etc. to alleviate unnecessary anxiety or disappointment. Chaperones: Don t forget to prepare your chaperones! They are a valuable resource; use them to help make your field trip an educational success! Send them a letter explaining your educational goals/focus for the trip. Outline the tasks they will be responsible for throughout the day. Set aside time to talk with your chaperones and answer their questions. Logistics: Remember to prepare student and/or chaperone materials in advance. Don t forget nametags with your school name, and have your confirmation form and admission fee ready when you arrive to avoid delays as you check in.

3 animal habitats around Museum desertarium: Lizards Fish/Amphibians Snakes Desert Tortoise outdoor exhibits: Stream/Pond Wildlife Observation Station Otter Exhibit Birds of Prey Center

4 Learning Expedition diversity and interdependence What tips the scales in nature s balancing act? student pages Grade Level: 6-8 Introduction: On this Expedition, you will visit the following areas in order to complete activities related to the theme, Diversity and Interdependence : (you do not have to visit the exhibits in the order listed) Exhibit Title Assigned animal exhibit: Interpretive Fire Trail Other animal exhibits, for Symbiosis activity page Done?

5 animal exhibit observations Assigned area: Sketch the area, including the plants and animals that you see. Find examples of the following relationships and describe what they do for each other: Relationship How they relate to each other Animal-Animal: Plant-Plant: Animal-Plant: Animal-Surroundings: Plant-Surroundings:

6 interpretive fire trail Before you start walking the Fire Trail, answer this question: What do you think a forest should look like? As you walk the Fire Trail, answer the questions below: sign title/question sentinels of the past: Why do you think the forest in this area was logged? your answer human hands: Besides thinning and logging, what else do people do that changes the way forests look? not enough fire: How does this forest compare to the one you described in the question at the top of the page? forest dwellers: What might happen if the raptors don t return this year to live in this forest? prescribed fire: How would this part of the forest look different if there had not been a prescribed fire in 2002? forest communities: What animals might have been affected by the railroad logging camps that came to this forest? wildfire & wildlife habitat Look at the pile of brush; what animals might benefit from it? How will it affect the food chain?

7 symbiotic relationships Find examples of these different kinds of relationships as you explore the Museum. Sketch and describe one for each. Commensalism A relationship in which one species gets food or shelter from another species without seriously harming that organism or providing any benefits in return. mutualism A reciprocal relationship in which two different species live in a symbiotic way where both species benefit and are dependent upon the relationship. parasitism A relationship between two species in which one species (the parasite) nourishes itself to the detriment of the other species (the host).

8 Learning Expedition diversity and interdependence What tips the scales in nature s balancing act? chaperone pages Grade Level: 6-8 Introduction: On this Expedition, you will visit the following areas in order to complete activities related to the theme, Diversity and Interdependence : (you do not have to visit the exhibits in the order listed) Exhibit Title Assigned animal exhibit: Interpretive Fire Trail Other animal exhibits, for Symbiosis activity page Done?

9 animal exhibit observations Assigned area: Sketch the area, including the plants and animals that you see. Student observations and responses for this activity will vary. Find examples of the following relationships and describe what they do for each other: Relationship How they relate to each other Animal-Animal: Plant-Plant: Animal-Plant: Animal-Surroundings: Plant-Surroundings:

10 interpretive fire trail Before you start walking the Fire Trail, answer this question: What do you think a forest should look like? (Student responses will vary) As you walk the Fire Trail, answer the questions below: sign title/question sentinels of the past: Why do you think the forest in this area was logged? human hands: Besides thinning and logging, what else do people do that changes the way forests look? not enough fire: How does this forest compare to the one you described in the question at the top of the page? forest dwellers: What might happen if the raptors don t return this year to live in this forest? prescribed fire: How would this part of the forest look different if there had not been a prescribed fire in 2002? forest communities: What species might have been affected by the railroad logging camps that came to this forest? wildfire & wildlife habitat Look at the pile of brush; what animals might benefit from it? How will it affect the food chain? your answer Students should be able to think of multiple uses for timber resources, such as homes and other buildings, railroad ties, mining supports, and other wood products. That wood has to come from somewhere! Building campgrounds, trails, etc, as well as housing development; prescribed fires are used today and were also used by Native Americans. Students may have other ideas. Student responses will vary. The prey of those raptors would likely multiply. The ladder fuels would be more prevalent, as well as some underbrush; the trunks would not be black. Student answers will vary, from small plants and animals to large species such as deer and elk or bear which might have been hunted, and of course, the trees themselves. Some are listed on the panel; with the increase of small mammals, there would be more prey for larger mammals and other predators such as raptors.

11 symbiotic relationships Find examples of these different kinds of relationships as you explore the Museum. Sketch and describe one for each. Commensalism A relationship in which one species gets food or shelter from another species without seriously harming that organism or providing any benefits in return. Student responses for this activity will vary. mutualism A reciprocal relationship in which two different species live in a symbiotic way where both species benefit and are dependent upon the relationship. parasitism A relationship between two species in which one species (the parasite) nourishes itself to the detriment of the other species (the host).

12 Post-visit activities de-briefing L EARNING EXPEDITIONS DIVERSITY AND INTERDEPENDENCE After your Museum visit, discuss what knowledge students gained that might help them answer the pre-visit question, If organisms need the same things, how do they co-exist? Discuss the symbiotic relationships they observed as well. Making a local difference Assign student groups to look around their school for evidence of other organisms being negatively affected by human presence (or individually at home in their own neighborhood). They should describe to the best of their ability the causes and effects present in the situation and present a solution for at least one of the problems they identify. This could turn into a service learning project if you want them to actually complete a hands-on project. SOLV is a great resource for teachers who want to do service learning in their classrooms. Visit their website: Create a PSA An alternative or an extension on the above activity would be for students to identify an organism that is currently being affected by human interaction with the environment, either locally or globally. Then they could create a public service announcement to create awareness, in the form of a poster, radio commercial, website, TV spot, etc.

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