Goals: This unit helps students understand the concept that all living elements of an ecological system are interdependent. Plants and animals live in a community in which each species contributes to the functioning of the overall system. In a functioning ecosystem, life forms and environmental factors interact to maintain a dynamic equilibrium.
Objectives: After completing this unit the students will:
- define interdependence, community, and exotics.
- describe a food chain and extend it to a food web.
- evaluate how a complex food web will adapt to change compared to a simple food chain.
- identify ways that humans have changed or could change a food web (pollution, introducing exotic, causing extinctions) and speculate how that change will affect the members of the food web.
- select an animal of their choice and find examples of how other plants or animals are dependent upon it. Name plants or animals that are dependent upon the animal. Add humans to the list and compare their needs, explaining how they are dependent upon plants and animals.
- discuss the relationship and responsibilities humans have to our planet.
- recognize interrelationships among living and nonliving elements of the environment.
- list two things the cave is dependent upon and describe the importance of these connections.
- evaluate how humans have changed the ecosystem of the cave and predict the effect it may have on the future of the cave.
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.
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