Let's Roam Together
Procedures for Teachers is divided into four sections:
-- Preparing for the Lesson.
-- Conducting the Lesson.
-- Alternative Activities for your Consideration.
-- Managing Resources and Student Activities.
Students should have an understanding of various animals that live in the
plains, and of endangered species that are preserved in national parks.
If you videotaped WOLVES AND BUFFALOS:THE LAST FRONTIER, shown on NATURE, students should view the film.
The students must also know how to use various
, be familiar with note-taking techniques, and know how to download text and graphics from the Web.
The following sites should be bookmarked:
NATURE: Wolves and Buffalo
This Web companion piece to the NATURE program, WOLVES AND BUFFALO: THE
LAST FRONTIER, has valuable background information and a great listing of Web and
International Wolf Center: Superior National Forest Wolf Telemetry Data
This Web site has telemetry data available for use by teachers, students, and interested individuals to enhance their study and understanding of wolves. Classrooms and individuals can monitor the movements of these animals with the assistance of a Superior National Forest map. A great additional resource is the background information about wolves provided by the U.S. Geological Survey Project, which includes population numbers, approximate age, sex, and current status.
International Wolf Center: Image Gallery
The International Wolf Center Web site has wolf exhibits and presentations. Go to this site to obtain excellent JPEG images of wolves.
The Great Plains Buffalo Association
The Great Plains Buffalo Association Web site encourages research to develop a better understanding of the buffalo and explores associated environmental and health-related issues. Addresses for ten buffalo ranches are provided. Students may write to the ranchers to obtain more information on buffalo. Also, students may write to an American Indian organization in South Dakota.
You will need at least one computer with Internet access to complete this lesson. While many configurations will work, we recommend:
- Modem: 28.8 Kbps or faster.
- Browser: Netscape Navigator 3.0 or above or Internet Explorer 3.0 or
- Macintosh computer: System 7.0 or above and at least 16 MB of RAM.
- IBM-compatible computer: 386 or higher processor with at least 16 MB
of RAM, running Windows 3.1. Or, a 486/66 or Pentium with at least 16 MB of
RAM, running Windows 95.
For more information, visit What You Need to Get Connected in wNetSchool's Internet Primer.
To introduce the topic, ask the class if they know of any endangered species. Have them brainstorm reasons why a species may become endangered and why species endangerment is a global problem. Tell the class that they are going to find out about buffaloes and then create a mini wildlife park in the classroom to educate others in the school about the physical traits, behavioral patterns, and habitat of buffaloes and wolves.
Divide the class into groups. Distribute one or two index cards to each group,
each with one or two research questions written on it, along with the Student Pathway. Have them use Web sites listed on the Student Pathway as a starting point. Some questions for the index cards include:
How big is the world's buffalo population?
What are some wolves' hunting techniques?
Why are buffaloes good for the land?
How fast can buffaloes run?
Where are buffaloes from?
What do buffaloes eat?
What do wolves normally prey on?
What type of environment do wolves and buffaloes inhabit?
What role have buffaloes played in the lives of Native Americans?
Encourage students to collect as much information as they can. Have students take notes, and download and print photos of the animals and their environment. Student may also collect any relevant sound bites (animal noises, etc.) and quotes from animal experts. Urge them to communicate with Webmasters/site producers to get answers to specific questions. Be sure to instruct them to note where they get each piece of information.
Have the entire class meet and share their findings. Each group should give a brief presentation about their questions. Have students brainstorm ideas for how they can use the information they have collected to design and create a mini national park in the classroom. Suggest decorating the room with the pictures they've found; writing their notes on large pieces of paper and illustrating them with appropriate images; and finding tapes of animal sounds to be played in the classroom. They could also devise "fun fact" pop quizzes and compile a list of resources for other students to use to find out about buffaloes and wolves. You may also want to use the classroom's computer(s) to display some of the Web sites the class found particularly enjoyable.
Once you have a plan for your classroom's transformation into a wildlife park, assign tasks to each group. The culmination of the students' joint efforts will come when you invite other classes to take a trip around your wildlife park. Students should act as curators, conducting tours; giving details about the animals' diet, activities, etc.; answering visitors' questions; showing Web sites; narrating the video; and so on.
Optionally, you could also have students gather all their printed and written materials together, along with photos of their wildlife park, and make a booklet to be placed in the school library so that others may read it at their leisure.
Students and teachers can use the information found in the previously outlined research to enrich a variety of other curriculum areas.
Have students research geographical locations of buffaloes and wolves around the world.
Have students research the relationship between bison and the American Indian. Discuss how the bison provides food, clothing, shelter, and fuel for the American Indian.
Have students calculate how much food these animals eat.
For homework have your students watch the NATURE video and make observations
about the animals behavior. They can keep a log/journal.
Have students write to a national park ranger to obtain additional information about these animals or to find out the current population.
Have the students create a Nature Activity Book with puzzles and fun quizzes.
Working in Groups
If you have access to one computer in your classroom, you can organize your class in several ways. Divide your classroom into two groups. Instruct one of the groups to do paper research while the second group is working on the computer. Bring in books, encyclopedias, etc., from the library for the group doing paper research. Lead the group working at the computer through an Internet search or allow the students in the class to take turns. (It may be efficient to have a set of bookmarks ready for the students before they start working on the computer.) When the groups have finished working have them switch places.
Look for Web Resources Together as a Class
If you have a big monitor or projection facilities you can do an Internet search together as a class. Make sure that every student in your class can see the screen. Go to the NATURE Web piece and review the information and resources presented there. Go to a search engine page, allow your students to suggest the search criteria, and do an Internet search. Again, bookmark and/or print the pages that you think are helpful for reference later.
Using a Computer Lab
A computer center or lab space, with a computer-to-student ratio of one to three, is ideal for doing Web-based projects. Generally, when doing Web-based research, it is helpful to put students in groups of three. This way, students can help each other if problems or questions arise. It is often beneficial to bookmark sites for students ahead of time and make suggestions. This way, you can be sure that students have a starting point.
Submit a Comment: We invite your comments and suggestions based on how you used the lesson in your classroom.