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Population Dynamics - Teacher's Guide

   Episode Overview
butterflyIn the first segment, Patrice looks at the wide variety of life found on earth and the important role species diversity plays in maintaining a healthy environment. Next she and Dave sweep for insects in a field near the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center and see how many different kinds of insects they can find. In segment three we take an up-close look at life on the forest floor. Finally Morrisa and Octave join Susan Morse of Keeping Track and discover the diversity of animals where she lives by looking for their tracks.
   Program Objectives
Students will:
1. Understand that species diversity helps maintain healthy ecosystems.

2. Describe the five categories for living organisms.

3. Understands that organisms are grouped according to common features.

4. Describe how species diversity is crucial to the health of an ecosystem.

5. Describe species commonly found on a forest floor and what their roles are. effected the population of white-tailed deer.
Diversity Monera
Species Protist
Kingdom Ecosystem
   Previewing Activity
Go around the room and using the letters in the alphabet in sequence, have each student name an animal. Go around the room again and have the students name a plant. See how many plants and animals students can identify. Make a list on the board or on chart paper.

   Post-Viewing Activities
1. Take a nature walk with the students and have them identify as many species of plants and animals as they can. If students come across a plant or animal they can't identify, have them record details about the plant or animal and research it when they return to class.

2. Have each student or small groups of students create  organism alphabet books for the kindergarten class. Books should include illustrations and text with simple details about each organism.

  Hands-On:  Read the Fine Print

   Materials Needed

current news magazines and newspapers


In this activity, students will identify organisms in print sources. Stories about organisms should be recorded and categorized. For example, is the story about medicine, hunting, or the environment?  This activity can be done over a period of a week or two. Students should report their findings to the class either orally or in writing. Discuss with the students the organisms that made the news, why they made the news and the impact the stories might have on the students and their community.

: A culminating activity might include having the students create their own organism newspaper or magazine.


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