Earthwatch Endangered Ecosystems Home Scholastic Explorers

Setting up the Activity in your Classroom:

There are three expeditions within the Endangered Ecosystems online activity. As you plan your lessons, you may wish to print out any reading assignment pages and staple them into a book for individual students. Depending on time available, the grade level, and maturity level of each class, activities can be facilitated as independent work, collaborative group work, or whole class instruction.

If a computer is available for each student, students can work on their own. Hand out the URLs or write them on the board so students will have a guide through the activity.

If you are working in a lab, set up the computers to be on the desired Web site as students walk into class. If there are fewer computers than students, group the students by reading level. Assign each student a role: a "driver" who navigates the web, a timer who keeps the group on task, and a note taker. If there are more than three students per computer, you can add roles like a team leader, a team reporter, etc.

If you are working in a learning station in your classroom, break out your class into different groups. Have rotating groups working on the computer(s), reading printed field sites and field reports, holding smaller group discussions, researching and writing about ocean life.

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Stimulate Background Knowledge with these related links:

Web Links

National Geographic Xpeditions: Preserving Biodiversity
National Geographic gets students to map the location of endangered species. Lesson plans for all grades included from K–2 Elementary Ecosystems to grades 9–12 Can Captive Breeding Save Species.

Students can find information on a variety of topics including wildlife, energy, and the environment both with interactive content and games.

PBS: Journey to Planet Earth
Based on the TV series, this site offers a wealth of written material as well as video clips. Topics include river life, urban growth, agriculture, and ecosystems. More educational resources available.

The Bell Museum of Natural History: Build-A-Prairie
Use this interactive, step-by-step experience for students to think about all the components that make a healthy ecosystem. Users must pick the vegetation and animal life that creates a healthy prairie.

World Wildlife Fund: Endangered Wildlife
Learn about pandas, gorillas, whales, elephants and more with in-depth articles and interactive activities as well as call to action for kids.

AOL@School search
Search for more ocean life teacher resources and student activities by grade at AOL@School.

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Graphic Organizer Narrative:

Reading Comprehension: KWL : Grades 4–6
This Reading Comprehension: KWL (PDF) helps students the organize information they gather on endangered ecosystems The lesson culminates with a presentation of their researched material in an oral presentation.

Source: The Big Book of Reproducible Graphic Organizers by Jennifer Jacobson and Dottie Raymer; Illustrated by Amy Redmond See Assessment and Evaluation.

Organizer Patterns: Venn Diagram: Grades 6–8
This organizing Venn Diagram (PDF) helps students compare and contrast the different endangered ecosystems. The lesson culminates with a presentation of their researched material in a written report.

Source: Graphic Organizers by Karen Bromley, Linda Irwin-De Vitis, and Marcia Modlo.

See Assessment and Evaluation.

Some of the resources on this page are in PDF format. To download them, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader Software.

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