• Wind Cave National Park - Two Worlds

    Wind Cave

    National Park South Dakota

7th and 8th Grade - Limiting Factors

Goals: This unit exposes students to the concept that limiting factors control all parts of an ecosystem. These limiting factors will differ from system to system and from species to species. Discussion will involve fire, predator/prey relationships, habitat, and adaptation. Activities are designed to help students understand and identify these factors and the responsible role of humans within the ecosystems.

Objectives: After completing this unit, the students will:

  1. define limiting factors.
  2. compare prairie, forest, and cave adapted animals and identify the limiting factors that affect them.
  3. name an animal and list the components of its habitat, then describe how limiting any component will affect that animal.
  4. list reasons to manage a park and evaluate how two different management techniques might work.
  5. discuss reasons why people should obey hunting and collecting laws.
  6. describe food webs and the problems that occur if new limiting factors are introduced.
  7. correlate vegetative communities and animal life and discuss the factors that limit the activities of either plant or animal.
  8. describe the cave and list the limiting factors to its development. Discuss how human impacts can affect the cave.
  9. discuss predator/prey relationships.

These objectives will be achieved in three stages:

  • Nametags, pre-visit activities and information - teacher(s) will complete Nametag Activity and select at least one Pre-visit Activity to do in the classroom before visiting Wind Cave National Park. Selection of activities will be communicated to the ranger leading park program.
  • Park activities - ranger directed with assistance and supervision of the teacher and/or teacher aide.
  • Post-visit activities - teacher(s) will select at least one Post-visit Activity to do in the classroom after visiting Wind Cave National Park.

Pre-Visit Preparations:

Nametags - Who Am I?

Carrying Capacity

Birds of Prey

Post-Visit Activities:

Life on the Edge

How Much is Enough

Murder Ewe Wrote

Vocabulary List

Vocabulary Crossword Puzzle

Student Pages

If you need a PDF reader click here.

If you are using a voice web reader and cannot translate PDF files and wish these documents, contact the park at (605) 745-4600. The park has a TTY.

Did You Know?

Prairie Dog Barking

Lewis and Clark, while on their journey up the Missouri River in 1804, noted that this "wild dog of the prairie...appears here in infinite numbers." More...