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Grades 3-6


In this lesson and its extension the students will have the opportunity to view many species of plants and animals in their native habitats. Students will discover the importance of one person's ability to impact the environment and make a positive difference. Students will design a classroom habitat and create and carry out a plan for raising the necessary funds to accomplish their project.
ITV Series
Science For You #3 Habitats: Who Needs Bugs?
Green Means #15 Habitat Forming
Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
Post Viewing (suggested materials for class project. Amounts of each decided by the class in their planning)
Pre-Viewing Activities
Ask students what their pet would say if they were asked. "What do you like about your house?" (a nice couch to sleep on, food in my bowl, a litter box, someone to love me, etc.) Animals in nature don't always have (or need) those things, but they do need to have certain things in order to survive.
Focus Viewing
The focus for viewing is a specific responsibility or task(s) students are responsible for during or after watching video to focus and engage students' viewing attention. We are going to watch this video segment twice. The first time, just watch it and notice as much as possible. The second time, I will have you find some information.

Viewing Activities
BEGIN Science For You #3 Habitats: Who Needs Bugs? after the segment with the caribou in the snow and the lady says, "These animals would have to find another area in which to live." STOP when a snake appears on the screen and before the man says, " You can grow a habitat..." REWIND to where we began this segment of the video. We saw some words listed on the screen. Let's go over those words before we watch the video again. Put these words on the board: habitat (place where a plant or an animal lives); symbiosis (interconnectedness of plants and animals and their dependence on each other for survival); food chain (order in which plants and animals eat other plants and animals for survival). Discuss the meaning of each one. Write the definition of each on the board. Let's watch this video again. On a piece of paper, I want you to be able to list four different habitats and as many of the animals shown as you can. BEGIN the video. STOP again when the snake appears. EJECT video. Discuss answers to the above questions. (forest, field, pond and stream) (frog, heron, ladybug, ants, hummingbird, ducks, fish, snake, hawk, moose, bear)

Discuss why native habitats are important. (so animals have a place to live, so animals won't become extinct, need all kinds of organisms to survive, for beauty, for recreation, etc.) Discuss what impact man has had on native habitats. Good: Help preserve endangered species, set aside areas for wildlife refuges, etc. Bad: pollution, overgrazing, overpopulating, littering etc. Could one person help the native habitat of an area? Discuss. Accept all answers. In the next video segment, we will meet Steve Packard from Chicago, IL and see how he was able to make some positive changes in a native area near Chicago. In the first part, we will see an enemy that can sometimes be a friend in maintaining a native habitat. I want you to be able to tell me what it is when I stop the video. Watch.

BEGIN the video Green Means #15 at the beginning. PAUSE when the narrator says, "In fact it was set by human hands." What was the enemy that was useful restoring habitat? (fire) Discuss why anyone would set a fire to benefit a natural habitat. (It's one way that nature can rid the land to trees and other plants.) RESUME the video. PAUSE when the man says, "I want to brings things back." Why do you think they are using bow saws instead of chain saws. (To prevent noise pollution.) Look for what Steve and the other volunteers had to do in order to restore the habitat. RESUME the video. STOP when Steve says, "I hate it." Discuss the answers. (Research to find what plants and animals were in the original habitat and spent lots of time using fires and saws to clear the unwanted trees and brush. They save and tag desirable trees and use herbicides on stumps.) Discuss the amount of work that this project might involve. Why would people be willing to help with this? PAUSE when the narrator says, "They apply herbicide to the stumps." What does herbicide do? (Kill the stumps so that the tree will not re-grow) Why did they color the herbicide red? (So they can tell which stumps have been treated.) Divide the class into two groups. Group one is to find how man hurt the environment in this area. Group two is to find the benefits gained from restoring the habitat , before the lady starts talking. RESUME the video. STOP when the screen saying Green Means is shown. EJECT the video. Discuss the findings of each group. Group One - man interrupted nature by plowing which reduced the frequency of fires (allowing trees to take over which affected animal life.) Group Two- plants and animals not seen for years have returned (deer, ducks, flowers, butterflies, birds), man can once again enjoy the native habitat of this area.

We saw what Steve did near Chicago, and now we are going to see a habitat project that we are going to do in our classroom. RESUME Science For You #3 Habitats: Who Needs Bugs? where we left off where it shows the experiment to build a habitat. STOP when the boy says, "Yes, I know," and before the city appears on the screen.
Post-Viewing Activities
Wow, doesn't that look like an exciting project? Let's just do it. So we need to get busy with our plans. Divide class into groups to brainstorm about the following:
Come back together as a class and pool the information gathered in groups. Reach consensus on materials, plants and animals needed. Research the total cost by one of the following methods:
When total cost is found, students develop a plan to raise the money. As one option: A lemonade and popcorn stand could be held at school. Students should develop a plan considering supplies needed, cost of supplies, cost per cup of lemonade, cost per sack of popcorn, amount needed to be sold, location, date, permission, workers, sponsors, etc. After money is raised, students will build the habitat as shown in the video.
Action Plan
Have someone from the US Fish and Wildlife Service Division of Refuges give a program on the more than 91 millions acres of wildlife habitat that is oversees. For the phone number of a local refuge or a regional office, call 703/358-2043

In cooperation with a local civic group (Lions Club etc.) organize a volunteer clean up day for a local park or recreation area.

Use money raised to by a song bird bundle ($12) from the extension office and plant in a needed location, maybe even around the school.
Language Arts: Write a letter to Steve Packard asking questions about the project and what has been happening recently. Maybe he could send some pictures. Or maybe a conference call could be arranged so the class could talk to him in "real time." Address: 79 West Monroe, Chicago, IL 60603. Write an article for the local newspaper telling of the class project and asking for donations for old aquariums to be used as terrariums. Include photographs.

Social Studies: Find areas in our states that are set aside for game refuges or national/state parks. Visit the botanical gardens or a zoo to view different habitats.

Art: Make posters to advertise the class "lemonade" sale to raise money for the habitat project. Make scientific drawings of the animals in our class habitat.

Science: Using the names of animals sighted by students during a week's time, make a food web display on a bulletin board.

Master Teachers: Judith Best and Kathy Hodgson

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