LESSON 2 - Introducing NatureMapping

Students will:

  • To model the NatureMapping program.
  • Learn about the NatureMapping program.

Materials Needed:

Worksheet 1 - What is NatureMapping?

Worksheet 2 - Modeling NatureMapping

Hidden Picture for Worksheet 2 (212k) (.pdf document)

Worksheet 3 - The NatureMapping Program

Engage

Begin by reviewing biodiversity with students. Ask them to predict how one could study habitats and its biodiversity. Write their predictions on the board. Explain that there is a program called NatureMapping that studies habitats for biodiversity. Have students read Worksheet 1 to get a better understanding of the NatureMapping program.

Exploration

Tell students that one way to find out whether a habitat is healthy or not is by taking an inventory of the plants and animals in that area. If an area is biodiverse, then it is healthy. The next activity will model the NatureMapping program. Give students Worksheet 2 and the Hidden Picture Worksheet (.pdf document) . Have students look for each type of animal and complete the chart on the worksheet. Alternative online activity - Virtual Nature Mapping

Explanation

Ask students what information they learned from this hidden picture activity. Does this area have biodiversity? Have students predict how scientists might use this inventory or collection of these inventories over time and from many different locations in their study of the earth. Explain to students that this inventory allows scientists to study the biodiversity of an area. Studying the numbers of animals in a given habitat over a period of time may lead to the conclusion that there are small numbers of animals that should be thriving in that habitat. This may indicate an unbalance and the biodiversity of the habitat is in danger. By protecting the biodiversity of an area, many species of plants and animals will benefit. Such studies may also lead to advanced notice of a species becoming extinct. Have students continue this investigation by participating in the actual NatureMapping program. Use Worksheet 3.

Extension

Have students model the NatureMapping program by taking an animal inventory of the animals in their neighborhood. Choose a small area and observe the animals in this plot. Identify and count the number of animals that show up.

Evaluation

Have students write a letter to a friend introducing the NatureMapping program. Include information about its purpose and role in our world.

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