In this activity students research the inter-dependencies among plants and animals in an ecosystem and explore how climate change might affect those inter-dependencies and the ecosystem as a whole.
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Portions of this lesson can be used independently.
Consider using a local ecosystem for research if relevant data and information are available.
Consider taking a field trip to the study site before you begin the exercise/research project.
An independent research project that focuses on changes in the ecosystem produced by climate change/global warming.
Important to clarify for students the difference between climate change and climate variability.
Many good references and supporting materials; suggestions for teachers as they guide students to conduct research.
Comments from expert scientist: Biodiversity in ecosystems is a very "hands-on" topic that is readily accessible to most students/schools.
This activity does an excellent job of encouraging students to appreciate this topic in their local environment -- this is excellent.
This develops excellent critical thinking skills, encourage hypothesis development for the scientific method, and also provides an engaging, practical atmosphere through field-trips.
Worksheets provide good scaffolding for student research.
Teachers (or students) may have to find research websites for students although many are suggested.
Student preconceptions are brainstormed in the first part of the lesson.
Supplies knowledge prerequisites for both students and teachers.
Well-organized worksheets for students.