Introduction and Teacher Background
As background for activities to come in this guide’s sequence, students need some basic introductions to the occupants of the International Peace Park, and the ways in which they interact. This unit serves that purpose (along with unit four on bears), but does double duty in introducing such concepts as habitat, community, carrying capacity, predator-prey, herbivore/omnivore/carnivore and food chains. It uses local animals – animals students have a reasonable chance of seeing near their home – to introduce the concepts.
Animals are inherently fascinating to students in primary grades. Plants are usually much less so, probably because they aren’t scary of cuddly, and they don’t move. For that reason, the K – 3 units are more specific about animals and treat plants generally. The specifics on plants come later in the sequence, at the 4 – 6 and 7 – 12 levels.