4-6, Unit Four: "Shared Spirits"

People, Animals and the International Peace Park (sections adapted from Work House)

Introduction & Teacher Background
Note: This introduction primarily sets up Activity 1 in this unit. From there, students will move toward a generalized knowledge of the relationships animals have with their environment. The effects of humans on those environments inside and outside W-GIPP are woven into the sequence, eventually focusing on beavers because of their obvious and accessible workings. Various beaver pond sites within W-GIPP are perfect places to conclude the unit with a field trip. Contact Glacier Interpretations & Education Division for field trip options.

Early Peoples and Animals
Beavers and bears are important medicine animals to Native Americans. In the past, Indians were extremely dependent upon the health of the habitat of beavers, bears, and other wildlife. Immigration by whites and the resulting changes in land use jeopardized the Indians’ ability to meet their basic needs for food, water, shelter, and space. More...


Activity 1: Painted Lodges
Grades: 4-6
Methods: Students learn to think about themselves as individuals and members of a social group of animals sharing an environment with other species. Students recognize that traditional American Indian shelter was as much a part of the surrounding environment as a beaver lodge. They will recognize and explain the personal and traditional culture behind the design and decoration of tipis.
Time: 1 hour
Subjects: Visual arts, social studies

Activity 2: My Favorite Animal
Grades: 4-6
Methods: Students conduct research about animal species living in the International Peace Park. During the course of their research, they will answer the questions provided in the teacher background section of this activity.
Time: Two 1 -hour sessions with research time between
Subjects: Life science, library science

Activity 3: Visual Vocabulary
Grades: 4-6
Methods: Students interpret and identify ecological concepts through use of pantomime.
Time: 1 hour
Subjects: Language arts, life science, physical education

Activity 4: What's That Habitat?
Grades: 4
Methods: Students identify their own basic needs for food, water shelter and space in a suitable arrangement and generalize that wildlife and people have similar basic needs.
Time: 1 hour
Subjects: Life science, visual arts, social studies, home economics

Activity 5: Beaver Succession Mural
Grades: 4-6
Methods: Students discuss the concept of succession, describe beaver pond succession, and apply the concept of succession by drawing a mural of the stages of beaver pond succession.
Time: 1-2 hours
Subjects: Life science, visual arts

Activity 6: Balance of Nature Pyramid
Grades: 4-6
Methods: Students identify different food chains in a forest habitat and recognize that change to a habitat affects the animals living there. They will form food chain pyramids in a forest habitat and observe the effect of a beaver arrival.
Time: 1/2 - 1 hour
Subjects: Life science, physical education

Activity 7: Meadow Madness
Grades: 4-6
Methods: Students will explain habitat transitions from a pond to a meadow, identify wildlife in a meadow, and recognize that conditions within habitats are continually changing.
Time: 1/2 hour
Subjects: Life science

Activity 8: Models of Succession
Grades: 4-6
Methods: Students apply the process of succession to human activity. They examine human habitat construction and its effects on the natural environment by building a model of a city and demonstrating their succession theories.
Time: 1-2 hours
Subjects: Social studies, visual arts, ethics, life science

Last updated: November 8, 2017

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