7-12, Unit Three: "Parks in the Parks: The Aspenlands"

Introduction & Teacher Background

The east side of Waterton – Glacier International Peace Park (W-GIPP) is a place of wind, prairie, and aspen parks. The term “park” refers to open areas in the trees or an open understory. Parks are areas of incredible diversity – birds, insects, plants and mammals use them – because of their abundance of types of habitats and the “edges” between them. In W-GIPP the coniferous forest of the mountains stretch down-slope to the only major deciduous forest in W-GIPP – the aspens. The aspen parklands is an area totally different from any other in W-GIPP.

The activities in this unit explore the uniqueness and locations of aspens, and the intricate, aspen-controlled cycles of snowshoe hares, lynx, ruffed grouse and beaver. The unit is rounded out with lessons on grizzly bear migrations through the aspens and hibernation energy dynamics.

Activity 2: Leave it to Beavers
Grades: 6-12
Methods: Students role-play the beaver's family; comparing it to a human family.
Time: 2 hours
Subjects: Social science, home economics, life science, geography

Activity 4: Hibernation-Migration-Fascination
Grades: 6-12
Methods: Students compare two different types of hibernation- of bears and of marmots
Time: 1-2 hours
Subjects: Life science, geography

Last updated: November 8, 2017

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