Students become aware of the diversity of nature in the northeast region of the U.S. by
researching the life in different ecosystems.
An ecosystem is the scientific term for the combination of plant and animal life
and its enviroment. In the northeast, several ecosystems are distinguishable, including marshes, tidal basins, forests, ponds, and ocean.
WHAT YOU NEED
- Reference materials on animals and birds of the northeast (for example, field
- Large white drawing paper
- Art materials (paints, crayons, or colored pencils)
- Information sheet
WHAT TO DO
- Discuss the various biomes in the Northeast and use a map to indicate where
they might be found.
- Tell students you want them to research one animal that might be found in
one of these ecosystems (for example, forest: white-tailed deer, moose, skunk,
cardinal; ocean: lobster, crab, cod).
- Pass out an information sheet to each student and discuss the kinds of facts students are to look for. Be sure students understand that "animal" can
include birds, mammals, insects, fresh- and saltwater fish, and crustaceans.
- Tell students that after they have done their research and filled out the
sheet, they are to make a color drawing or painting of the animal. Encourage
them to show as much as they can of the animal's environment, such as plant
life. Have them attach the information sheet to the completed illustration.
(You may want to suggest that students make preliminary sketches before
beginning their final drawing.)
- Have students group their work, on walls and bulletin boards, according to
ecosystems. Letter, or have students letter, a sign identifying each ecosystem.
Create a large wall chart to summarize the information students have gathered.
Organize the chart into biomes and have students enter their information in the
Use the collection of animals in their respective ecosystems to explore the ecosystems further. Add information about weather, plant life, geology, etc.
Encourage students to learn if there are any endangered species in the
northeast and to report on them.
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